Climate Action launches fifth edition in Durban
13 December 2011 | William Brittlebank | Africa
The fifth edition of Climate Action was officially launched alongside COP17 last week, at a prestigious cocktail reception hosted by Climate Action, UNEP and Nedbank, at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban.
Under the theme “Partnerships for a Green Economy”, the exclusive invitation only event hosted in excess of 350 delegates and distinguished guests, including HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife HSH Princess Charlene of Monaco, at one of Durban’s most iconic venues.
Preceding the reception, Climate Action, in partnership with ICLEI and the World Green Building Council (WGBC) hosted a lively and engaging high-level debate on “Cities of the Future”. Chaired by Gino Van Begin, Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI, the debate examined the growth and development of sustainable urban areas and infrastructure; an area of growing importance in the run-up to the defining 2012 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Climate Action also partnered with Scania, who provided sustainable transport for delegates, New Holland Agriculture, Suzlon and MTN, who purchased renewable energy certificates to the value of one megawatt hours of green electricity on behalf of the delegates and Schneider Electric for the event.
The networking reception was opened with a welcome from UNEP Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Achim Steiner. Before addressing the key speakers on the night, Achim began with a poignant reminder that the event was not only celebrating climate action in the sense of the book launch, but also in the sense that over next few days proceeding the event, the hope for climate action and the progress of the negotiations a few blocks away were of grave importance to everyone in the room.
Following Achim, Nedbank Chief Executive, Mike Brown, echoed his sentiments in regards to the importance of the week’s negotiations. However, Brown stressed that waiting for politicians and regulators to make decisions was something we could ill afford and that businessman, like himself, and us as individuals have to start leading by example to make a telling difference.
The evening also included addresses from Professor Karanja, Executive Director of the Green Belt movement and HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco who both paid a moving tribute to the late Professor Wangari Maathai, who died in September this year. HE Salvador Namburete, Mozambique’s Minister of Energy, and Chairman of the AU. Conference of Energy Ministers of Africa (CEMA) also delivered short addresses centering on the theme of developing partnerships for green growth.
The reception also coincided with the haning over of responsibilities of the Billion Tree Campaign from UNEP to the Plant for the Planet initiative, founded by 13 year old environmentalist Felix Finkbeiner. (See video below)
“We are delighted that the Climate Action Networking Reception was such a success and that we were able to attract prominent and highly regarded keynote speakers and present them to such a high profile audience,” commented Climate Action’s Project Director Sula Bruce after concluding the event.
Images: Shane Doyle: Photography and Design
Video: Plant for the Planetblog comments powered by Disqus