Mark Kenber in live broadcast: The UK is in a recession, yet its green economy has grown 5%
- 16 November 2012
NEW YORK CITY: Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, spotlighted the need for green business to boost the UK economy in a discussion with Al Gore and Richard Branson, which was broadcast to 8.6 million viewers live from New York yesterday.
Al Gore, Chairman and Founder, Climate Reality and Richard Branson, Founder and Chairman, Virgin Group and member of The Climate Group’s International Leadership Council, shared the live panel with Mark Kenber as part of NGO Climate Reality’s Dirty Weather Report.
Over a 24 hour period, Dirty Weather explored global climate solutions during a live conversation between a range of guests including scientists, political officials and business leaders.
Business ahead of government
Hour 20 of the discussion began with a look at recent extreme weather events in the UK and around the world. Al Gore highlighted his hometown Nashville’s ‘once in a thousand year rainfall’ where his neighbors lost homes and businesses due to having no insurance, as flooding ‘had not been experienced before.’
Al Gore then explained how businesses are ‘ahead’ of political leaders in both preparation for climate adaptation and in the green economy, pointing to Richard Branson as a leader in the community. He said: “[Businesses] are finding that almost with exception, that [being green] saves them money. And word is spreading in the business community.’ As an example, he applauded News Corp for their work in becoming carbon neutral, which he stated as making ‘good business sense’.
Mark Kenber said: “Smart people are realizing they can make money with greener business. It improves energy efficiency, attracts the best talent and creates jobs and opportunities. We are in a recession in the UK, yet the green economy has grown by 5%. But nobody talks about it. You have to go beyond conventional wisdom; the rewards are huge.”
Leaders of the future
Like Al Gore, Mark also praised Richard Branson for his work as a member of The Climate Group’s International Leadership Council. Mark stated: “We need business leaders to tell each other success stories. It’s not just about saving money but about how these businesses can be the leaders of the future. Sustainability is now a driver for business success. Politicians need to hear those stories.”
Instantly demonstrating his innovative sustainability efforts, Richard Branson outlined the work of his Carbon War Room, which connects entrepreneurs to market-driven climate solutions. He also explained the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, which is supported by the Scottish Government and has a prize of £40,000. He explained how the competition will showcase green business and called for British entrepreneurs to step up to the challenge.
Bringing the conversation back to market drivers for sustainability, Al Gore added that greener consumer behavior is also greatly influencing business decisions.
In conclusion, all three panelists agreed that in both the UK and the rest of the world, investing in the clean revolution – and partnering governments and innovative businesses in doing so – is essential to recovering the economy.
Watch the broadcast below.