Third annual North America members meeting held in New York

29 April 2010

From April 12–14, The Climate Group held its third annual North America members’ meeting in New York City at Goldman Sachs’ new downtown headquarters.

The three days of meetings and activities focused on the current state of climate science and communicating with skeptics, the fate of international and domestic climate policy, key developments and opportunities in low carbon technology and innovative climate focused initiatives within The Climate Group’s membership.

The meeting kicked off with an interactive discussion with Bill Moomaw, Professor of International Environmental Policy at Tufts University and member of The Climate Group’s US Board of Directors, who focused on the state of climate science and recent challenges to the credibility of the science. Moomaw provided participants with tools to communicate effectively with climate skeptics. Mark Way, Head of Sustainable Development Americas at Swiss Re, provided further insight on the economics of climate adaptation.

Bill Thomas, Counsel in Skadden’s Environmental and Climate Change Practice and member of The Climate Group’s US Board of Directors, moderated a discussion with Mark Kenber, Policy Director at The Climate Group, and Changhua Wu, Greater China Director. The discussion focused on the fate of international climate policy, addressing specifically the key developments and remaining challenges between the US and China. Linda Lance, Senior Counsel, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, led an interactive discussion on the state of domestic climate and energy legislation and what will be needed from business and government leaders to help move policy forward.

Members of The Climate Group and international experts shared the latest developments in smart technologies and the federal policies supporting their deployment. Jim Walker, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of The Climate Group, provided an overview of how technologies are key to a low-carbon, prosperous future. Nick Sinai, Energy and Environment Director, Federal Communications Commission, provided insight into how the US national broadband strategy will impact businesses and create new markets through open access to building energy data. Ron Bowman, Executive Vice President, Tishman Technologies, provided an overview on information technologies to improve security and efficiency in building operations and data centers. Steve Frenkel, Director, Renewable Funding LLC, continued the dialogue by engaging members in a discussion around PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) as a financing tool for residential and commercial building retrofits. Sarah Severn, Director of Corporate Sustainability Horizons, Nike, shared her company’s experience with indoor and outdoor LED lighting projects, offering insight on how the technology is working for them.

Matthew Mattila, Manager of Project Get Ready at the Rocky Mountain Institute, discussed electric vehicle technology developments as well as the benefits and challenges of converting fleets to electric vehicles. Pierre-Luc Desgagne from Hydro Quebec, and Jeff Miller from Better Place, provided examples of electric vehicle test projects that their companies have recently launched.

In addition, a range of The Climate Group’s members led brief discussions of their emerging technologies and innovative business activities that are leading the way towards a low carbon future. Curtis Ravenel, Global Head of Sustainability Initiatives, Bloomberg LP, provided an overview of the company’s new environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) platform on the Bloomberg Terminal. And, Steve Westly, Managing Partner, The Westly Group and member of The Climate Group’s US Board of Directors, closed the meeting with a discussion on clean technology and venture capital investing.

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