Vestas President and CEO, Ditlev Engel, and Enel CEO and General Manager, Fulvio Conti, co-chaired the G20 Business Summit (B20) Task Force on Green Growth in connection with the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico.
During the main plenary session with Mexican President Felipe Calderón, Ditlev Engel urged Heads of State to adopt policies that will simultaneously help to green and grow the economy in environmentally, economically and socially sustainable ways. According to Engel, “growing the economy requires government and business to play their different, but mutually reinforcing roles. Governments have to create policy frameworks that re-balance economic incentives to clearly favor green investments. With the right policy frameworks, business will make the investments, take the risks, and create the new business opportunities that the green economic transformation promises.”
Engel and his Green Growth Task Force colleagues are asking G20 governments to demonstrate genuine leadership by initiating negotiations to achieve a sustainable energy trade agreement; create a robust price on carbon through coordinated international policies; end fossil fuel subsidies and other inefficient forms of support for the exploration, production, and consumption of fossil fuels; and to direct a portion of carbon price revenues to support innovation in sustainable technologies.
Business has a critical role to play as well. An important outcome of the B20 Task Force on Green Growth is the creation of the Green Growth Action Alliance, a new public-private partnership initiative comprising dozens of the world’s largest energy companies, international financial institutions, and development finance institutions.
Vestas CEO explained: “We created the Green Growth Action Alliance to boost public and private investment into green infrastructure. Each year, $1 trillion is needed to deliver the necessary infrastructure and to shift us onto a low carbon path. Public finance is constrained or shrinking, and the only way to deliver this green infrastructure is to mobilise the over $100 trillion in assets under management by the private finance community.” Engel concluded: “Some people consider this a trillion dollar expense. Vestas and our Alliance partners view it as a trillion dollar business opportunity.”
Mexican President Felipe Calderón, who is also chairing G20 in 2012 and who has accepted to be the honorary chairman of the Green Growth Action Alliance, said: “The G20 Mexican Presidency welcomes this initiative and supports its efforts to define the practical steps business can take, in partnership with government, to deliver the green growth agenda. The Alliance will also play an important role in tracking our progress in leveraging private finance for green growth.”
Vestas CEO emphasised: “Green is the color of sustainability. It’s also the color of money. Through green sustainable growth we can transform an inefficient, polluting and high resource-consuming economy into an efficient economy, which generates the best economic results using the fewest resources possible.”
Green Growth Action Alliance, launched at B20 Summit with backing of Mexican President, offers to enter into partnership with G20 governments to drive global action-focused agenda through public-private partnerships
Members of the Alliance include leading companies such as Vestas Wind Systems, Accenture, Samsung Electronics Company, KfW Bankengruppe, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank Group and Enel. These companies will partner with public bodies, such as the World Bank Group, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Climate Policy Initiative and the United Nations Foundation, among others.
Fulvio Conti, CEO and General Manager of Enel and co-chair of the B20 Green Growth Task Force emphasizes: “Sustainable growth generates multiple and mutually reinforcing benefits such as low carbon economy, accelerated job creation, healthier and wealthier populations, greater resource efficiency and biodiversity, cleaner air and water, and an expanded access to more secure energy supply. Through a more unified, coherent policy framework, business will make the necessary investments thus embracing the new opportunities the green economic transformation promises.”
The Alliance recognizes the need for structural policy changes to promote green growth, and also stress the need for practical action. They see a huge opportunity for collaborative, cross industry innovation to develop new financing models to unlock greater pools of capital to power green growth. They offer to enter into partnership with the G20 governments (finance ministries and development agencies) to share ideas and innovations and to work together on tangible initiatives to move the global green growth agenda during the next three years.
The Alliance will identify and deploy public money that can be used to unlock and utilize private sector investment, identify innovative financing and de-risking structures, support pilots testing new models and market frameworks, and feed results into key international processes.