Sir David King: Green Growth Forum biggest opportunity after Paris to connect business and sub-national governments

Ilario D'Amato
1 March 2016

Sir David King, UK Government Special Representative for Climate Change

LONDON: Last December, the world sealed the historic Paris Agreement, creating a clear framework for how to move forward in tackling climate change. Now this framework must be implemented, says Sir David KingUK Government Special Representative for Climate Change in an exclusive interview for Climate TV ahead of the International Green Growth Forum.

While businesses and sub-national governments are already demonstrating their crucial role in adapting to and mitigating climate disruption, there is still an urgent need to scale up collaboration between companies and policymakers.

This is why the Welsh Government, in collaboration with The Climate Group, is organizing the International Green Growth Forum, which is taking place in Cardiff on March 2-3. One of the first global events since the COP21climate talks where the Paris Agreement was announced, the Forum will focus on how innovative government policy and smart business action can accelerate the transition to a thriving low carbon economy.


The event will provide an opportunity for states and regions to join global business leaders and work together on accelerating green growth, unleashing the trillions of dollars of investment necessary to spur the clean revolution.

Sir David King, UK Government Special Representative for Climate Change, will speak at a panel on accelerating green growth, driving further ambition and delivery of the Paris Agreement by government and business.

“This is an amazing opportunity,” he tells The Climate Group in a Climate TV interview. “We have the biggest opportunity to connect together technical development with industrial output and wealth creation through this transition to a low carbon economy.”

In Paris and beyond, leaders from investment, corporate and sub-national communities are demonstrating that bold climate action brings economic benefits. “The business community, making these commitments, has a very clear signal for governments,” underlines Sir David King. “Governments need to understand the importance of regulatory systems that would drive this new clean energy economy through.”

The Forum will also be an occasion for The Climate Group’s States & Regions Alliance, of which the Welsh Government is a member, to highlight how critical collaboration between sub-national government and the corporate world is. Another panel, which will feature the RE100 campaign, will look into what is the future for decentralized energy systems in helping to deliver a low carbon transition.

Solutions such as these are urgently needed today, highlights Sir David King. “There’s a considerable amount that needs to be done after Paris. Paris is the beginning of the next phase of our work. We have to decarbonize the global economy during the course of this century.” Science has confirmed that to avoid the worst effects of climate change, the world must reach net zero emissions globally by 2050.

The International Green Growth Forum, coming just a couple of months after the Paris Agreement, will deliver this important message – a message which will be further amplified by the Business & Climate Summit this June in London, with leading companies showing how green business is good business.


In the video interview Sir David King also underlines the value of collaboration, which is at the core of The Climate Group’s projects. “We need multiple processes where best practices in one company, in one country, in one state, can be demonstrated to other companies, countries and states,” he says. “The exchange of best practices is the best way to go forward in time.”

Another example of such collaboration demonstrated in Paris was Mission Innovation, an agreement signed by 20 countries to double their publicly funded research and development into new clean energy technologies.

It’s clear that investing in accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy is not only inevitable, but also the smartest choice for companies. Sir David King concludes: “Business needs to understand the message from the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, who said every investment that is made now needs to be future-proofed investment. We cannot go on investing in the old fossil fuel technologies when those technologies will no longer be available to play into the future.”

Facebook icon
Twitter icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon
Google icon