Summary Report
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26 April 2010
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Fourth Annual Business for Environment Global Summit (B4E Summit)

22-23 April 2010 | Seoul, Republic of Korea

Friday 23 April 2010

On Friday morning, Choi Kyunghwan, Minister for Knowledge Economy, Republic of Korea, noted that businesses have reacted to the global financial crisis in two ways, either by cancelling or delaying green investments or by strengthening them. He highlighted Korea's approach to "eco-capitalism."

Gunter Pauli, Zero Emissions Research Institute, presented a paradigm of business innovation based on principles of a green economy from nature. Richard Branson, Virgin Group, urged business leaders to think in new ways, work with new partners, and put environmental matters at the core of what they do.

Andrián Fernández Bremauntz, National Institute of Ecology, Mexico, described Mexico’s commitment to facilitate a successful outcome to the 16th Conference to the Parties (COP) of the UNFCCC. He underscored the challenge of translating the political understandings from the Copenhagen Accord into the UNFCCC negotiations and highlighted the aim of building trust in the lead-up to Cancún. He suggested a focus on ambitious but realistic outcomes from the meeting, perhaps consisting of COP decisions on mature topics, as well as a mandate to continue negotiations that will lead to a legally binding agreement.

Two panel discussions were held in the morning on "Green entrepreneurship and innovation in emerging countries" and in the afternoon on "The role of business in protecting and restoring biodiversity and ecosystems." In the morning, participants engaged in working groups on: business innovation; ICT and the green revolution; sustainable urban development; finance and investment; speeding the transition to renewable energy; and sustainable water management.

In his closing address, Maanee Lee, Minister of the Environment, Republic of Korea, highlighted the government's commitment to realizing growth based on the green economy. He closed the meeting at 5:27pm.

Thursday 22 April 2010

On Thursday 21 April 2010, the Fourth Annual Business for the Environment Global Summit opened with a video-link address by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. In his keynote address, President of the Republic of Korea, Lee Myung-bak, welcomed participants and urged action that merges environmental needs with green economic growth, highlighting the investments and legislation initiated by the Korean government. In his keynote presentation, former US Vice-President Al Gore noted that in reducing emissions, businesses are frequently able to increase profitability by eliminating waste and inefficiency.

In leadership perspective talks, Bharrat Jagdeo, President of Guyana, challenged the international community to make the binding agreements necessary to address climate change. Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Maldives, noted that the Maldives was committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2020 through the rapid development of renewable energies, such as wind and solar. In the afternoon opening address, Maanee Lee, Minister for Environment of the Republic of Korea, reviewed the low carbon, green growth vision of the Korean government.

The day included three panel discussions on: Green business, a new growth engine for the planet; Powering growth for the global green economy; and Leading the world towards a low carbon future, which was taped for CNN’s Earth’s Frontiers programme. Six break-out groups conducted discussions in parallel on consumer change, food sustainability, sustainable tourism, climate positive solutions, the green supply chain and smart grids.

Related Links

B4E resources
B4E Summit web site
Draft agenda

B4E 2009 Summit Report

IISD RS resources

IISD RS coverage of the Copenhagen Business Day, 11 December 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark
IISD RS coverage of the Business Day at COP 14, 9 December 2008, Poznań, Poland
IISD RS summary of the conference on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2002: Addressing the New Business Imperative, 8-9 October 2002, Rüschlikon, Switzerland (HTML - PDF - TEXT)
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