So here we are in January, 2022. - the start of another new year. And an important one for climate change and biodiversity as we emerge from the grip of a global pandemic into a critical decade for climate action – and just months away from the 15th UN COP on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China.

Many of us will start this new year with thoughts and ideas of what we might like to do differently. I have spoken to dozens of friends and contacts, who all found 2021 to be a tough year. Much of it was anxiety inducing, stressful, emotionally difficult and draining. I don’t think I’ve ever worked so incessantly hard. Although this was all thrown into stark relief when my father died suddenly in June. As a result, the whole of 2021 just felt relentlessly negative.

But with 2022, we are faced with a brand-new year and I would like to think that there is a real opportunity to turn that round. In fact, I am determined to make sure 2022 is better. Can 2022 perhaps become a year of relentless positivity, by contrast? And what would that take?

Of course, many of the issues of 2021 have not gone away and therefore, still require to be tackled. Although Covid is still a live issue, and causing much disruption and distress, Climate change still remains more of a worry over the long term. And there are reasons to be hopeful. For example, the UK Government retains the chair of the international climate negotiations (up until November’s COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh). Glasgow COP26 didn't deliver everything many of us may have wished, but it did raise the profile of Scotland's leadership on climate change in international circles.

Many of our leading businesses, also committed to net zero targets... By 2030, 2035 or 2040, well ahead of government targets. However, it is apparent that many organizations are ill equipped to reach these net zero targets and in many cases, do not necessarily entirely understand what would be required to do so.

For those of us inclined to make new year's resolution, then this year, more than any other, I hope everyone will commit to learn about climate change solutions.

If we all take the time to properly understand the solutions that all of us have a role in helping to deliver, I believe, our businesses and organizations will be stronger for it.

Only by addressing climate change and tackling it at scale can we have the confidence in our own societies and economies. And if we can lift our ambition and take the time to explore and understand the solutions that need to take place, and start implementing them, then I do believe the next 12 months can become relentlessly positive. To be fair this has already begun to some extent. We only launched our Climate Solutions course around Christmas in 2020, and we already have around 60,000 people signed up and with interest from all over the world.

The climate solutions course that we have written with the University of Edinburgh, University of Stirling and the Institute of Directors, helps to make that learning as simple as possible.

For those who have already undertaken the training there have been some remarkable reactions and a real sense of purpose and responsibility. The more people who take this training, especially at a management level, the more robust, our businesses and institutions will be. And the more we can help our friends and allies internationally to follow suit.

We are all on a journey to reduce our carbon emissions. And there is still a great deal to do. But if we resolve during 2022 for everyone to learn about the science and solutions of climate change, we will be incredibly well placed to make a difference domestically, and in a very strong position to share and sell that expertise to every country that is further behind on their journey – and that is almost all of them.

If Glasgow’s COP26 taught us anything, it is that every government in the world is having to take this issue seriously. Our own government, while still having much to do is well ahead of most other major economies. Taking a continued lead on climate change is not just ethically and morally the right thing to do, it is fast becoming the most economically sensible route too. And it is the only one that will assure us of a safe future.

Let’s make 2022 the year we took climate change action seriously. Take the Climate Solutions course and get up to speed quickly with what we need to know and do. And help play your part in making 2022 a year of relentless positivity!