The Climate Group launched The Clean Revolution Campaign at theRio+20 Earth Summit, where world leaders from business and government including Tony Blair, Quebec’s Premier Charest, HRH Prince Albert II and the World Bank’s Andrew Steer came together to share their own visions for a low carbon world with a thriving economy.
Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, opened the session, outlining what a clean revolution is and where in the world it’s underway, using examples in China, Germany and India. He explained the aims of the three-year Campaign: “The Clean Revolution will present evidence of the massive economic opportunities in a green economy, and will profile how innovative leadership is already transforming policies and markets around the world. It is our belief – and I think one that you all share too – that a clean revolution is the only feasible path to a smarter better, more prosperous future. For all,” he said.
Mark Kenber emphasised the crucial timing for launching the Clean Revolution, as the world grapples with the global financial crisis: “We believe that the clean revolution – its rapid low carbon transformation – provides a way out of this dead end”. He pointed out how the UK economy shrank 0.2 per cent in the last quarter while the green technology sector grew by 5.3 per cent in the same period, and spotlighted rapidly growing clean technologies. He also added the compelling: “Stocks and shares have been flat-lining or falling around the world, while green portfolios have been outperforming their peers by 50 per cent.”
Speaking to the crowds through video, Tony Blair, Chair of our International Leadership Council and Clean Revolution Ambassador reinforced Mark’s clear message. He stated, “The Clean Revolution is the express way to the green economy. This new industrial revolution will be brought about by a tipping-point, a coming together of entrepreneurs, investors and political representatives.” He added that those who seize the opportunity will be the new economic leaders, applauding The Climate Group for its work in building a network of these innovators and leaders to accelerate change.
Andrew Steer, Special Envoy for Climate Change, the World Bank, then addressed the challenges the world has faced since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, no less the two billion extra people that share the planet. Citing last year’s achievement of $500 billion invested in clean energy and transport, Andrew Steer said that while progress is impressive “it doesn’t even come close to adding up”. He continued, “Green growth, a clean revolution, is not only possible; it is affordable and it is desperately, urgently needed. We need a green, clean revolution.”
Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact, showed similar enthusiasm for the need to amp up global momentum on climate action, as did HRH Prince Albert II, who suggested we “multiply” clean revolution initiatives, before declaring Monaco’s aims to be carbon neutral by 2050.