India Economic Summit | Ben Verwaayen, CEO Alcatel Lucent on climate change

India Economic Summit | Ben Verwaayen, CEO Alcatel Lucent on climate change

New Delhi: Expectations are very high, that is from normal people like you and me. Negotiators work hard to dampen those expectations.

What I am talking about? Climate change of course.

With the all important meeting in Copenhagen coming up, it is clear that most people expect our global leaders to step up and show leadership.

“Business is ready to meet the challenge. Just set the bar and set it high enough"

Please don’t use yesterday’s arguments in todays discussions. Lots of technologies we will use to become green are or will be coming from India and other developing nations.

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Let’s not get into finger pointing, but rise to the occasion.

Those were the soundbites from my panel discussion this morning at the WEF dedicated to the theme “Trade and Climate Change: Economic Imperative or Green Imperialism?"

In my view Nicolas Stern, the London School of Economics professor who has written one of the most defining reports ever on the issue was right when he said the following: we can’t afford not to act, by not being able to afford the costs of a full climate change. He was also absolutely right today when he said business should be very vocal in the coming weeks.

All parts of business and not just those who are in the steel and coal sector.

For all of us the transformation will be hard, it will require new thinking but it is also a massive opportunity.

It may help us all to get out of the economic crisis, grow and regain the confidence from the general public.

The WEF meeting concludes on a cautious positive note.

Like always, lots of issues are touched upon but not solved. But the good thing is: we call it as it is, we make choices clear and we go away convinced of the tasks ahead.

I go away puzzled why we could even contemplate not making the decisions needed for Copenhagen. The price to pay for failure may be bigger than world leaders think.