What I had originally written felt like something from another era.
However, in a reworked article for Mediate.com, I observed that, of course, we would still need to face the climate change problem in the future and that ideas like these would remain relevant even after the lockdown phase had passed. We have no choice.
With colleagues, we began to develop an idea about a “Green Pledge” based on a similar initiative by an arbitrator, Lucy Greenwood, which had been drawn to my attention by my good friend, Anna Howard, and which has, with Lucy’s permission, now been adapted for mediators.
At the time, it seemed fortuitous that we were already adapting our working practices in many of the ways now suggested in the Green Pledge to accommodate the next several months of working in relative isolation.
Indeed, as Jim Melamed remarked in a global conference sponsored by Mediate.com, mediation using an online platform seems well set to become the default even after the pandemic passes – and face to face may well be the exception. Maybe that is exactly what needs to happen anyway if we are to face the environmental crisis with any prospect of making meaningful progress.
I’d like to record my appreciation of the work of my colleagues, Nicola Hartfield, Anna Howard, Charlie Irvine, Sabine Koenig, Jonathan Lloyd Jones, Ian Macduff and Laura Skillen, all of whom have helped, and continue to help, to bring this initiative to fruition.