‘Effective handling of climate change is an enormous responsibility and a business opportunity at the same time.’ – explained Diana Ürge-Vorsatz, climatologist, in her presentation at BCSDH’s business breakfast, adding that ‘companies which may not be able or are not willing to seize this opportunity can easily fall behind.’
Diana Ürge-Vorsatz, vice-president of the Nobel peace prize awarded III. Workgroup investigating the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions (WGIII) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) held a sensational presentation at the business breakfast organised for BCSDH company leaders on March 22, 2016. BCSDH – with more than 70 company members, accounting for a total 30% of GDP – invited the well-known climatologist to the annual event to give the opening presentation for the Action 2020 Hungary program, which has climate change as its focus.
The presentation described the costs of the Paris climate agreement (accepted by 196 member states) and its potential impact on the economy.
‘Change of a similar nature to that which happened during the industrial revolution is needed, covering all fields of the economy. We must re-interpret consumption and growth-based paradigms.’ – explained Diana Ürge-Vorsatz. The climatologist described the Paris Climate agreement as a “miracle” that came true and an expression of the agreement and determination of the presidents of 196 countries to put the brakes on climate change. An agreement was established that the bottom-up approach and the top-down will.
Diana Ürge-Vorsatz raised attention to the need for the personal engagement and responsibility of company leaders too: ‘The key to change lies in personal charisma’. Further to switching from fossil fuels to a low carbon-energy economy, new business models that take into account damage to natural resources and that break with traditional ways of doing business need to be established. A share-based and even circular economy may be one such solution. Reaching the goal means reducing both use of energy and resources, as well as overall consumption. The dissemination of information technologies and other new technologies, as well as their application in new fields, may support this goal. New consumption habits, where quality replaces quantity, may become increasingly popular. Such initiatives have business potential for companies which can react to demand in a time of change.
‘The Paris summit did not solve the problem of climate change, of course, but it constituted a significance advance. When, following the new approach, commitments start to be met, the business sector will play a key role. BCSDH supports the business sector in reaching the goals that relate to Hungary, and intends that the sector should be the motor of national sustainability, mainly throughout its Action 2020 Hungary program.’ – explained Attila Chikán Jr., the newly elected president of the BCSDH.
The Action 2020 Hungary program, established with the involvement of over 100 civilian, scientific and business experts, has taken up the task of identifying and inspiring business solutions that go beyond business-as-usual and that can be disseminated and upscaled as good practice to other economic players. Over 50 companies have joined the program already.
The presentation can be downloaded here.
Further information about the Action 2020 program may be obtained from here.