With world leaders preparing to meet at the United Nations Climate Change Conference Copenhagen in December 2009 to create a global framework for tackling global warming and climate change, Thomas L. Friedman, Columnist, Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, USA, asked panelists what has to happen between now and the end of the year to ensure success.
Jacques Aigrain joined Swiss Re in June 2001 as head of the Financial Services Business Group and Member of the Executive Board Committee.
In August 2005, the Board of Directors appointed him Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1 January 2006.
Yvo de Boer
Yvo de Boer is the current Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Thomas L. Friedman
Thomas L. Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist. His foreign affairs column in The New York Times, which appears twice a week, reports on US domestic politics and foreign policy, Middle East conflict, international economics, the environment, biodiversity, and energy. He is the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes and the author of six best-selling books: From Beirut to Jerusalem; The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization; Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11; The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century; and Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need A Green Revolution – And How It Can Renew America. His most recent book, That Used to Be Us: How American Fell Behind in the World We Invented and How We Can Come Back, is co-written with Michael Mandelbaum.
Albert Arnold Gore Jr.
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. was the forty-fifth Vice President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton.
Before that, Vice President Gore served in the U. S. House of Representatives (1977-85) and the U. S. Senate (1985-93), representing Tennessee.
A prominent environmental activist, he shares the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."
Gore was the Democratic nominee for president in the 2000 election in which he won the popular vote by a plurality. A legal controversy over the Florida election recount, ultimately settled in favor of George W. Bush by the Supreme Court, made the election one of the most controversial in American history.
Today, Gore is chairman of the American television channel Current TV, chairman of Generation Investment Management, a director on the board of Apple Inc., an unofficial adviser to Google's senior management, and chairman of the Alliance for Climate Protection.
He recently joined venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, to head that firm's climate change solutions group.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been active in politics most of life, beginning in 1978 when he won a seat in the Danish Parliament (Folketing). He became minister for taxation in 1987, and three years later, minister of economy and taxation, a position he held for two years. In 2001, he became Denmark’s prime minister and during the last half of 2002, he held the rotating presidency of the EU. Mr. Rasmussen became the 12th secretary general of NATO on August 1, 2009. During his political tenure, he has held many positions within his political party (Liberal Party), including being its spokesman and chairman of the national organization. He is also an author with several books on taxation and government structure to his name. Mr. Rasmussen has a master’s degree in economy from the University of Aarhus.
Jeroen van der Veer
Jeroen van der Veer is the CEO of oil company Royal Dutch Shell.
Addressing the upcoming Climate Conference in Copenhagen, Royal Dutch Shell CEO Van der Veer emphasizes the importance of the big country club, while former Vice President Al Gore stresses the significance of "binding commitments" from the developing world.
"It has to be a planetary solution, to a planetary crisis," says Gore.
Royal Dutch Shell Abandons Wind And Solar
Excerpt: "They continue to struggle to compete with the other investment opportunities we have in our portfolio," Cook said of solar and wind.
The oil company’s investments in renewables will be limited to biofuels, which it believes are a better fit with its core operations.
At the risk of feeding the trolls, I'm proud of the work Al Gore has done to raise awareness on this issue (as well as Thomas Friedman).
Last week I read an article in The Sunday Times by James Lovelock, the Earth guru, titled "The fight to get aboard Lifeboat UK". The piece was about the Earth now being so populous, with nearly seven billion people inhabiting it, that all attempts to arrest climate change would be counter-productive and that we should prepare ourselves for Armageddon itself instead of trying to "fix it".
Let's just take a look at the toxic environment we already inhabit: the colossal scale of greenhouse gases emitted from industry and agriculture; the vast ecosystems of the oceans that were once pumping carbon dioxide deep down below but can do so no more because they have reached saturation levels due to acidity and instead release it into the atmosphere; the clearing of the Amazonian forests for beef and their affect on absorbing carbon; the melting of the polar icecaps that are releasing ever more water into these oceans; and the desertification of the continent of Africa. Then, let's consider the growing environmental events such as Hurricane Katrina and the increasing occurrences of droughts and flooding.
Did you know the exhalations of breath and other gaseous emissions by the nearly seven billion people on Earth, their pets and livestock are responsible for 23% of all greenhouse gas emissions? If you add on the fossil fuel burnt in the total activity of growing, gathering, selling and serving food, all this adds up to about half of all carbon dioxide emissions. Think of farm machinery, the transport of food from the farms and the transport of fertiliser, pesticides and the fuel used in their manufacture; the road building and maintenance; the supermarket operations and the packaging industry; to say nothing of the energy used in cooking, refrigerating and serving food. Like it or not, we are the problem.