Five Key Takeaways
Bloomberg Green Festival, Day 5
By Mallika Kapur and Mark Miller, Bloomberg Live
The Bloomberg Green Festival is a true thought leadership experience operating at the crossroads of sustainability, culture, food, technology, science, politics and entertainment. Built to foster solutions-oriented conversations, the five-day festival features a mix of panels, presentations, fireside chats, and interactive elements. Focused on core issues of climate action, the Green Festival is a celebration of the thinkers, scientists and practitioners leading the way in the climate era.
Day 5 speakers included the following:
- Francesco Starace, CEO and General Manager, Enel Group
- Hindou Ibrahim, Environmental Activist
- Lily Cole, Environmental Activist, Model, Actress and Filmmaker
- Noel Kinder, Chief Sustainability Officer, Nike
- Gail Gallie, Co-Founder, Project Everyone
- Sabrina Elba, Model, Actress, and United Nations’ IFAD Goodwill Ambassador
- Monika Froehler, CEO, Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens
- Gilbert F. Houngbo, President, IFAD and former Prime Minister of Togo
- Aksel Jakobsen, State Secretary of International Development, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Michael Sheldrick, Chief Policy and Government Affairs Officer, Global Citizen
- Francine Katsoudas, EVP and Chief People Officer, Cisco
- Andy Bernstein, Founder, HeadCount
- David Clunie, Executive Director, Black Economic Alliance
- Mónica Ramírez, Founder & President, Justice for Migrant Women
- Simon Moss, Co-Founder and Managing Director – Campaigns, Global Citizen
- Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President & Founder, Hip Hop Caucus
- Varshini Prakash, Co-Founder & Executive Director, The Sunrise Movement
- Catherine Coleman Flowers, Founder, Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice
- Mustafa Santiago Ali, Vice President of Environmental Justice, Climate, and Community Revitalization, The National Wildlife Federation
- James Redford, Co-Founder and Chairman, The Redford Center
- Jill Tidman, Executive Director, The Redford Center
- Laura Nix, Director, Writer and Producer
- Will Marshall, CEO and Co-Founder, Planet
- Carla Frisch, Principal, Rocky Mountain Institute
- Mary Nichols, Chair, California Air Resources Board
- Carl Pope, Former Executive Director, Sierra Club
- Chris Wheat, Director, Strategy and City Engagement, American Cities Climate Challenge
- Nathan Hultman, Associate Professor; Director, Center for Global Sustainability, University of Maryland
- Lord (Jacob) Rothschild OM GBE CVO, Investor and Philanthropist
- Hannah Rothschild CBE, Writer, Filmmaker and Philanthropist
Bloomberg moderators included:
- Jillian Goodman, Reporter, Bloomberg Green
- Francine Lacqua, Anchor, Bloomberg Television
- Francesca Levy, Head of Podcast Division, Bloomberg
- Akshat Rathi, Reporter, Bloomberg Green
- Monte Reel, Reporter, Bloomberg
- Ashlee Vance, Technology Reporter, Bloomberg Businessweek
Five Key Takeaways from Day 5
We kicked off the final day of the five-day Bloomberg Green Festival with a one-on-one conversation with Francesco Storace, the Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Enel Spa, Italy’s biggest utility. We asked him how oil and gas companies are reacting to the green movement. Speaking to Bloomberg moderator Francine Lacqua, Enel said his company plans to issue only sustainable-linked bonds going forward. “As the world evolves more and more to a circular and sustainable economy, it makes sense that also financial instruments are tailored in that direction,” he said. But, he added it should not only be companies issuing such bonds. “Why can’t a government issue a sustainability-linked government bond. This is going to happen sooner or later, and probably Europe will lead in that quite soon.”
Europe is already ahead of the U.S. and China when it comes to transitioning to a low-carbon economy.
Other speakers struck an optimistic note too. Noel Kinder, Chief Sustainability Officer, Nike said, “Almost daily, you see more commitments to the adoption of renewable energy, products based on sustainable principles. Companies realize their purpose needs to be more front and center.” Nike has launched a number of sustainable initiatives, including a program called Move to Zero, a commitment to zero waste and zero carbon production. “Anything you order on Nike.com in the U.S. – the carbon footprint is offset,” Kinder said.
To continue our conversation on climate activism, we spoke to Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President & Founder, Hip Hop Caucus, who is a community activist. He said he wanted to highlight one crucial point during his time with us and that is, “climate justice is racial justice and racial justice is climate justice. Climate change is a civil rights issue. We have a right to clean air. We have a right to clean water,” he said.
Responding to a question from the audience asking about how we capitalize on this moment in America, one marked by the pursuit of climate and racial justice, Rev Yearwood said previous movements, such as the one that followed Hurricane Katrina, did not move fast enough. To accelerate change, “we have to expand leadership, senior leadership,” he said. “Not just for people of color, but for women. We have missed out on women power and color power.”
Who’s responsible for the murder of environmental activist Berta Cáceres? Subscribe to Boomberg’s riveting new podcast, Blood River, based on reporting by author and Bloomberg reporter Monte Reel, to follow this long and twisting investigation. The power of storytelling is on full display in this investigation, which is critical to helping people understand the myriad costs of environmental degradation. James Redford, Co-Founder and Chairman, The Redford Center, spoke of the work he has done creating environmental documentaries that are in part a tribute to the decades of environmental activism of his father, director and actor Robert Redford. “We need to understand that we have altered this climate and it’s up to us now to take as good care of it as we can,” Redford said.
In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek technology reporter Ashlee Vance, Will Marshall, CEO and Co-Founder, Planet, described the power of daily, private satellite imagery in helping an enormous number of professions do better work in the climate space, from firefighting agencies monitoring wildfires to supply chain managers ensuring their forest products are legal. Just last week, Planet Labs co-launched the California Forest Observatory, a satellite and artificial intelligence collaboration that lets firefighters see in real time where a conflagration is headed and how much vegetation is at risk.
The inaugural Bloomberg Green Festival closed with a conversation between Lord (Jacob) Rothschild, OM GBE CVO, Investor and Philanthropist, and his daughter Hannah Rothschild, CBE, Writer, Filmmaker and Philanthropist. They spoke of their family’s long history of interest in conservation and described the extensive work they have done at their historic family estate, Waddesdon Manor, now owned by the (U.K.) National Trust, to increase its sustainability and to demonstrate new environmentally friendly techniques and technologies. Bloomberg Live will travel to Waddesdon Manor, in 2021 to, along with the Rothschilds, convene Bloomberg Green Europe.
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