Why Can't Clean Energy Be More Like Cell Phones? (Video)
Or, Why Government and Business Are Locked in a Climate Showdown
At a special session focused on energy and the environment at the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative, billionaire investor and clean energy entrepreneur Richard Branson joined Christiana Figueres, essentially the world's top international climate negotiator, to discuss policy and business solutions for global warming. Figueres had some worthy insights into how the business world and the governments around the globe are engaged in a never-ending dance over who will make the first move to seriously address climate change -- and she wondered why clean energy wasn't more like cell phones. The video after the jump will explain: In this first video, Figueres describes the stalemate that government and business have found themselves in: businesses telling governments to provide them with clear regulatory framework so they can invest properly in clean energy, and governments attempting to do so, but finding themselves told that such regulatory framework would kill their business.
Apologies in advance for the crappy video quality (they corral you into these tiny press pens at CGI) and for the rude couple directly in front of me who continued whispering throughout the talk despite the abundance of dirty looks I sent their way. I make no apologies for my top tier cinematography, which has a "gritty", shaky, documentary-like feel, and an artsy tendency to drift pointlessly into the crowd from time to time.
The North-South debate she mentions is another way to reference the Who Goes First? conundrum that wracks developing and industrialized nations over drawing down carbon emissions. And now to the promised cell phone analogy vid:
Again, sorry for the crappy video, but the audio is what's truly important. The answer to Figueres' question, about why clean energy isn't more like cell phones, which managed all by itself to become wildly profitable without any such regulatory framework, appears to me to be due to the fact that there was no massive, global economy-dominating set of industries (like, say, the fossil fuel ones) opposed to the creation of cell phones.
More on the Clinton Global Initiative 2010
"Natural Disasters Will Accelerate" With Climate Change: Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton: Closing Landfills a "Silver Bullet"
US Invests $50 Million in Cleaner Cook Stoves