Breakfast with Al Gore - 23 Jul 2009

Smart Grid Australia was invited to attend the breakfast with Al Gore; and afterwards one of our executives also participated in a smaller discussion group with Al Gore and Ian Dunlop at the launch of Safe Climate Australia (SCA) -

Here are some notes from that meeting:

Ian Dunlop - ex-Chairman, Institute of Company Directors, explained SCA. This is an interest group of scientists and business leaders who aim to position Australia (and beyond) with a roadmap of how to transform for climate change.

The aim is to collaborate with industry and science to bring research together and develop a 10-year plan for all parts of Australian business by mid-2010.

Bob Welsh - CEO, VicSuper made the following remark: ‘Climate change will affect every business and hence cash flows and investments due to CO2 trading, the ability to produce goods etc. This becomes an issue and an opportunity as business transforms. This then urges companies to look at where they should invest.'

Al Gore added to this that the last four UN studies on climate change carried out since the late 1980s by 100+ of the world's leading scientists, and sanctioned by all the leading national science associations, have alerted us to the growing CO2 issue. In each subsequent report the worst case scenario has been exceeded.

We push seven million tons of CO2 per day into the atmosphere and 25m tons is absorbed in the oceans. This is affecting sea life by making the ocean more acidic - which affects crustaceans.

Gore also coined the phrase: ‘Political Will is a Renewable Resource'.

The ozone hole was a good example of problems that were being observed (fluorocarbons) while the total effects were not being recognised. The apparent costs of removing fluorocarbons became business opportunities, leading to a decrease in the price of circuit boards etc that were previously cleaned by fluorocarbons.

The Cap and Trade (emissions trading) agreement expected in Copenhagen is essential, as it will provide the economic model and change company balance sheets from quarterly reporting to more sustainability.

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