Patagonia is now owned by the Patagonia Purpose Trust, which locks in the company’s purpose and values, and a new nonprofit called the Holdfast Collective, which takes all money that’s not being reinvested into the business and uses it to fight the climate and ecological crises. To our knowledge, this has never been done before. I think we did ignite a global conversation about the future of business, and we hope to see evidence that more companies are taking the climate crisis seriously. That doesn’t mean that they need to give away all of their profits, but it does mean they can’t just run a marketing campaign saying that they’re doing all kinds of things to address the climate crisis, but then the next day not advocate for climate policies.
The catastrophic flooding in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, has implications for 2023 in the way in which the community reacted. In a fearless and very daring move, a civil-society organization took the president and members of parliament to court, accusing them of being culpable for homicide by ignoring climate action. To imagine that someone can do that anywhere, let alone on a continent where there’s so much supposed vulnerability, is an indicator for the inherent strength and social capital and legal frameworks that can be leveraged. The threats on lives for doing that are very real. Taking a president to court for something like that is not an easy thing, but it’s a metric of where people are at when it comes to inactivity. People are exhausted with so much talk, and the ones on the ground are now able to say, “Enough is enough, we’re going to take matters into our own hands.” In 2023, different countries are going to continue to
We’ve been working on the Colorado River system for a long time, and so far, the measures we’ve taken haven’t been successful. I think a lot of people feel we need to stop living on the edge. We’re finally facing up to the prospect of no hydropower production, or dead pool, and that could be catastrophic. In 2023, we [must] figure out a way to save at least 2 million acre-feet of water in the system. That has to be a multiyear commitment to allow the reservoirs to recover. If that doesn’t happen, we could be in a situation where we’re really staring in the face of dead pool in 2024. The only thing we have control over in this situation is how much water we take out of the system. We can’t control how much water goes in. We need to make this commitment to leave a lot of water [in the basin] over multiple years to enable it to recover.