New Champions conference discusses the engagement of business in the new climate context

The New Champions Conference claims to be the foremost global business gathering in Asia. Also known as the “Summer Davos”, the Meeting creates a unique opportunity for exchange between leaders from top-ranked multinationals and chief executive officers of dynamic and fast-growing companies, including key decision-makers from government, media, academia and civil society.

At this year’s conference one panel focussed on how business should engage in the new climate context. Among the key points made by panel members were:

  • Rasmus Helveg Petersen, Minister of Climate, Energy and Building of Denmark: “Creating a stable framework has helped our businesses create the solutions we need to combat climate change.” “The transition from black to green economies will only be achieved when businesses can make decisions. We need to recognize the need for profitability when we do our regulatory work.”
  • Xie Zhenhua, Vice-Chairman, National Development and Reform Commission, People’s Republic of China, and China’s lead negotiator on climate change at the United Nations: “We need to find a circular pathway to development.” “Businesses need profit, but they need to find a way to achieve common prosperity. If we can do that, we can respond to the climate change challenge and turn the world into a more beautiful place.”
  • Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington DC: “There is huge innovation taking place in the private sector around solutions. This is happening in the absence of a global agreement. This is the most exciting part of what we are seeing today.”
  • Mark Herrema, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Newlight Technologies, USA: “What is missing is something to bridge the gap between what we need to address [in terms of climate change] and people who ask why they cannot use carbon to growth their businesses.” “Industry is taking climate change into their own hands and sequestering carbon.”
  • Feike Sijbesma, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Managing Board, Royal DSM, Netherlands: “Mother Earth is not helped by targets and good intentions, but real innovations to change things.” “We in the private sector cannot hide ourselves behind the lesser progress made in public debates.”

For a more detailed summary of the session, and links to other comments and analysis, visit

For more of the highlights of the conference held this week in Tianjin, China, visit

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