To Be, or Not to Be?
by Elise Richards -- December 13th, 2009
My first full day in Copenhagen proved to be an interesting one. I went to the Kronborg castle, the setting of Shakespeare’s famous Hamlet, to attend a climate and water event hosted by TERI, Yale and the World Environment Center. As we explored the castle, I stumbled upon another event – To Be, or Not to Be? New Leadership for a Sustainable Economy – was also being held there. As a joint degree student between the Nicholas School and the Fuqua School of Business, the agenda with several CEOs and business leaders was particularly interesting. I was able to plead my way into the event and found that two of my former colleagues from GreenOrder, the Crown Prince of Denmark and several other familiar faces were there.
The event offered an interesting discussion on the importance of establishing the business case for climate action. One of the main themes that was echoed by several of the speakers was the need for climate policies that will provide investor confidence and stimulate investment. The need to keep it simple was also addressed. Several speakers focused on the fact that the benefits of action on climate change now will be realized by future generations – and corporations have the responsibility to serve these future consumers.
Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy, noted their partnership in China saying that he believed the Chinese would be able to develop and scale CCS technology faster than any other nation. In China, he said, actions speak louder than words at the moment. I thought this really illustrated the role that China is now playing in developing solutions to the climate problem.
In all, a great first day in Copenhagen!