Businesses Beginning to Get on the Clean Energy Trail

UN Summit for Climate Change
UN Summit for Climate Change

Despite climate change activists feeling let down by the United Nations climate talks held last week in New York, there are signs that big business are beginning to embrace climate change as a fact that needs addressing.

Greg Barker, the UK representative said about the summit that, “This hasn’t been the show many of us hoped it would be.” Nevertheless, although the summit ended without the kind of political commitments from world powers that UN secretary Ban Ki-moon had hoped for, some of the industry insiders said there is still reason to hope, if the business discussions are any indication.

Head of the UK-based telco BT’s Net Good program, Kevi

n Moss, said he has seen some real changes in many US companies during Climate Week.

“In the last few weeks, I’ve been much more encouraged than I was a year ago,” Moss said. “I think we’re at a turning point.”

He added that he sees business resistance to regulation changing in the US. “American companies are supporting a price on carbon.”

There is also concrete proof that business opinions are in flux now. For instance, the World Bank said that it had received promises of support for carbon pricing from 1,000 companies and investors. They also heard from 73 national and 11 regional governments. The nonprofit group CDP announced earlier this month that 150 major companies have already instituted an internal price on carbon.

Although disappointed with the UN forum, he Barker, the UK representative, sees a lot to be optimistic about.

“There are reasons to be cheerful, but I think one of the strongest reasons to be cheerful is finance,” Barker said during a session on clean energy investment. “There is without doubt a growing appetite and interest in finding ways to harness the great growth industry of the 21st century, which is clean energy.”

About Michelle Grathers

Michelle Grathers is an international tax expert. She has consulted for a variety of firms and high net worth individuals on all tax- and legal-related issues. She also helps new companies develop payroll services, statutory audits and mergers and acquisitions. Contact Michelle at michelle[at]businessdistrict.com