13 November 2017

Political leaders make the case for stronger action on climate

During the first day of the 8th Sustainable Innovation Forum, international energy and environment ministers have urged the global community to act faster and stronger to make the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Political leaders, including Scotland and Norway, advocated partnerships between the Government, energy and technology companies while also discussing creative strategies for the financing and sourcing of renewable energy in the global market.

Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s Minister of Climate and Environment, said: “We need to look at the entire economy in this energy transformation…We need regulations and we need incentives”.

She added: “A carbon tax is essential and more countries should implement it”.

Scotland, a leader in the renewable energy sector, was represented from Roseanna Cunningham, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform who stressed the need to take the leap into sustainability.

 She said: “Once you make the commitment, things will go a lot faster than people imagine…once you start out on this road, you will be successful. We’ve come a long way, but we have to do a lot more”.

Bertrand Piccard, Pilot of the Solar Impulse, the very first airplane capable of flying perpetually without fuel made a strong case about the importance of technological innovation: “When we speak of innovation, it is not a question of new ideas, it is a question of getting rid of old habits”.

He added: “You can only create jobs and sustain growth today if you are cleaner and more efficient. That is the paradigm shift. This is what gives me hope”.

George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Province of British Columbia said regarding climate action: “Climate action not only provides an opportunity to shape the future, but also an opportunity to prosper”.

The remarks took place during the opening sessions of the Sustainable Innovation Forum in Bonn. 600 delegates representing national governments and the private sector have gathered to discuss new ideas and solutions to the climate crisis.

The forum is the largest business-focused event taking place during COP23 and is hosting the only US pavilion at the talks: ‘We Are Still In’.

You can watch LIVE all the speeches and the panel discussions taking place at the 8th Sustainable Innovation Forum here.

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