How Capitalism will save the planet it is destroying. After all, US money is green too.
NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – There’s money to be made by going green.
So say business leaders and politicians who pressed the economic case for urgent action to fight climate change at events across New York City ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, which opens on Tuesday.
“Climate change is the biggest problem in this world but also one of the most exciting opportunities,” Virgin chairman Richard Branson said at the Morgan Library during a panel discussion addressing the role of business in society. “If business leaders realise how exciting it is, they’ll see there’s actually an opportunity here.”
Switching the business focus from old, dirty resources to renewable, eco-friendly solutions is a matter of profit, Unilever CEO Paul Polman said at the forum.
Ignoring the problem and doing nothing is “exceeding the cost of taking action,” Polman added, noting that inaction on climate change would wipe out profits to be made in the food sector in the next 50 years.
Pointing to the hundreds of thousands of people who marched in New York and cities around the world to demand urgent action on climate change, U.N. Special Envoy for Climate Change Mary Robinson said that the business community now has to maintain that popular momentum.
“Sustainability has to stop being viewed as a corporate responsibility issue” and become a core part of business operations, she said.
Their comments came as We Mean Business – a coalition of organisations working with thousands of businesses and investors around the world – released a report detailing the financial returns of switching to cleaner technologies.