COP15: High-level Roundtable on Private Sector Solutions for Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific
On 10 December 2009 at Bella Centre, Copenhagen, TERI-Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) India in association with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) organized a 'High-level Roundtable on Private Sector Solutions for Climate Change in Asia and the Pacific' as an official COP15 side event. The roundtable was chaired by Nitin Desai, Chairman, TERI-BCSD India, and Former UN Under Secretary-General and the invited distinguished panelists included Ajit Gulabchand, Chairman and Managing Director, Hindustan Construction Co Ltd; Meera H Sanyal, Country Executive, ABN AMRO Bank NV; Leena Srivastava, Executive Director, TERI; Harry Verhaar, Sr Director, Philips Lighting; Cristina Rumbaitis del Rio, Team Leader, The Rockefeller Foundation; and Philippe Forestier, Executive Vice President, Dassault Systemes. Senior representatives from academia, private sector, non-governmental organizations, and media were also present.
At the outset Mr Desai mentioned that engagement of the private sector is vital for implementation of an ambitious climate agreement at the grassroots level. He presented the following set of propositions on private sector solutions for climate change for the panelists to provide insights and further discuss.
1. How should the private sector act on climate mitigation beyond renewables and energy efficiency and the technology face of the energy sector and more looking at 2050 with the GDP being five times larger and a ten-fold increase in productivity
2. How should the private sector integrate climate adaptation and not just carbon mitigation into its core business and address the changes which are unavoidable in the climate and resources of the world
Commenting on the way forward for the roundtable, Robert J Dobias, Senior Advisor, Climate Change Program, Asian Development Bank, remarked on the importance of partnerships for low-carbon development. In his remarks, Mr Dobias discussed how climate actions can help upscale and leverage access in investments and climate mitigation; how collaboration with private sector can be strengthened; and how platforms available to the private sector can be used to invest in climate change and sustainable development. He elaborated ADB's initiatives on climate change and private sector and explained how ADB can help overcome various risks related to high capital costs of clean energy projects, developing low-carbon technology markets, and so on.
In his concluding remarks Mr Desai emphasized the urgent need to act upon the risks of the catastrophic climate change and pointed out that a number of surveys reveal that willingness to act on global warming exists.