Credit: Paul Morse / Clinton Global Initiative
Yesterday, I moderated a dual panel at the Clinton Global Initiative on demonstrating that climate change is good economics. I was pleased to be able to ask questions of such distinguished panelists including former Secretary of the Treasury and current chairman of the Paulson Institute Henry Paulson; Prime Minister of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt; the President of IKEA, Peter Agnefjäll, and the interim president for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. Diverse perspectives, but the main theme was clear. Whether we are working to improve the profits of business, build livable and resilient cities, or empower smallholder farmers in the face of a changing climate, we need to align our economic incentives with our ecosystems goals.
“#ClimateChange is the single biggest risk to the global economy today.” ~ Sec. Paulson #CGI2014
— Rockefeller Fdn (@RockefellerFdn) September 22, 2014
We also heard compelling examples of what we call the “resilience dividend“—not just the long-term benefits that investing in resilience brings, but the improvements in every-day life. I was touched by the Prime Minister’s remarks showed how Copenhagen’s investments in wastewater management has enabled locals to once again swim in the harbor. Not a small thing. I was also interested in how IKEA is growing its business within the “limitations” of the environment. IKEA’s CEO spoke of how the company’s goal is not to be “less bad” to the environment, but to be what they call “people and planet” positive. It’s a model from which other companies can learn.
“The good news is the smart solutions are there…Now we have to adopt them, and use them.” – Denmark PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt #CGI2014 — CGI (@ClintonGlobal) September 22, 2014
And today, I’ll be joining other leaders at the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit, where concrete commitments are being made to take climate action and build resilience. I’ll be speaking specifically about our work on building climate resilience in cities, announcing that The Rockefeller Foundation has invested more than a half-billion dollars in helping cities and communities of all kinds build resilience against the shocks and stresses of our world, and re-committing to our work to leverage even more partnerships and additional private dollars in resilience building around the world.
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