Companies vs Climate Change Conference
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In this traveling episode, Doug Parsons takes America Adapts on the road to sunny Ft. Lauderdale, Florida! Doug was invited as press to cover the inaugural Companies vs Climate Change (CvCC) conference. The purpose of the event was: to serve as a global forum for companies of all sizes to share best practices for solving climate change with wholly justifiable business value. CvCC strives to serve as a conduit that will bring companies together to create business driven solutions to the climate crisis. This conference was about three things: 1.Climate change; 2.How can companies address climate change? 3. How can companies collaborate to address climate change? As you can see, it covered a lot.
The city of Ft. Lauderdale was an excellent setting, embedded in the South Florida culture of adaptation. The plenary speaker was Republican Mayor of Ft. Lauderdale, Jack Seiler. The Mayor stressed the role businesses must play in meeting the challenges of climate change, and he noted, his city is dealing with the impacts of sea level rise first hand. Although still a hot potato issue in other parts of the country, it was refreshing to see South Florida embrace the need to address what is happening in their own backyard (or beach).
Doug listened in to a number of interesting presentation topics: the major airlines addressed carbon mitigation in the airline industry; resilience in the supply chain process; the role of renewable energy; dealing with climate change under a new political administration; and developing public/private partnerships.
Generally, Doug has participated in more adaptation themed conferences, but this one was a mix of mitigation and adaptation. It was interesting to see many of the businesses try to incorporate adaptation into their already existing sustainability efforts. Terms like “triple bottom lined” were used frequently (social, economic and environmental); terminology Doug was not accustomed to hearing in conservation oriented meetings!
Doug wandered the hallways, interviewing scientists, business people and non governmental representatives. A sampling of some of the ‘mini-podcasts’ below:
Chandler Van Voorhis of Green Trees discussed:
Carbon markets and tree plantings.
Markets moving ahead independent of government action.
Launch of new app to help offset carbon.
Michael Green of the Climate Action Business Association
His groups helps businesses understand the risks and opportunities with climate change.
Discussed what small business leaders have already done.
We discuss if adaptation/risk officers will follow the same, underappreciated path of sustainability officers.
Greg Hamra of Hamra Center for Climate Solutions
Discussed the Citizens Climate Lobby and its role in mitigation policy.
Their efforts to engage with businesses.
Doug also talked with Dr. Tiffany Troxler and Dr. Shimon Wdowinski of Florida International University, both sea level rise experts, and conference organizer, Nick Aster, from Triple Pundit. Listen in to the micro-podcasts to hear their perspectives on the role of ‘companies versus climate change.’
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