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Corporate leaders meet in Germany to discuss strategic approaches to the big low carbon opportunities

06 December 2013
Corporate leaders meet in Germany to discuss strategic approaches to the big low carbon opportunities

LONDON: On invitation of Johannes Remmel, Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, The Climate Group hosted a business lunch in Wuppertal yesterday. The event brought together a select group of about 20 representatives from major German and international companies to exchange ideas on how businesses can strategically develop the opportunities of the low-carbon economy.

The lunch was held in the context of the NRW Climate Congress, an interim conference on the ongoing stakeholder process the Government of North Rhine-Westphalia is running for the development of its state climate action plan.

Minister Remmel said: “The protection of our environment and the adaptation to the impacts of climate change are a century challenge that we as a society can only solve jointly. The first phase of the Climate Protection Plan shows that we have set the right course in North Rhine-Westphalia and can develop joint efforts. In the second phase, all people have the opportunity to participate in North Rhine-Westphalia. This is climate change - made in North Rhine-Westphalia".

Four keynote speakers inspired the discussion between all participants: Bernard Kümmerli, Senior Partner, Innosight, highlighted key success factors of corporate innovation. Stefan Reiss, General Manager Corporate Sales, BT, and Graham Seabrook, Head of Sustainability Advisory Services, BT presented their company’s “net positive” approach as a new way for companies to rethink their climate impact from a focus of reducing the negative towards maximizing positive contributions through products that help consumers switch to more low-carbon approaches.

Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Richter, General Manager Government Affairs, Philips also presented his company’s work on innovative urban lighting solutions as a case study for developing low-carbon markets.

Ben Ferrari, Director of The Climate Group, said: “Around the world we see that some of the most important action in developing the low carbon economy is being taken by businesses and sub-national governments, who are ready to take the lead. Bringing together public and private actors is key to building momentum for innovative approaches. North Rhine-Westphalia’s climate protection law and the stakeholder engagement process around its implementation are a great example for how forward-looking governments can set a framework that enables ambitious climate action from the bottom-up.“

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