WEF Annual Meeting 2015 panel: closing the climate deal

Can a global climate deal be reached by 2015? If so, how? Watch Swiss Re Group CEO Michel Li├Ęs along with former Mexico President Felipe Calderon, the UN's Christiana Figueras and other experts debate the question in the WEF debate Closing the Climate Deal.

If anyone still believes climate change isn't happening, they should know that the three hottest years in measured history happened in the last decade. Scientists have predicted that the world's temperature will rise by 2 C by the year 2100 – but current trends indicate that 4.8 degrees is more likely. This does not spell climate change – but climate disaster.

Greenhouse gas emissions will have to be drastically cut in order to avert the impending disaster, but how do you get the 196 countries gathering in Paris for the UN Climate Conference to move in the same direction, and what practical measures must be taken in order to succeed?

From discussion to action

(L-R) French Minister Laurent Fabius,  UN Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, Swiss Re Group CEO Michel Liès -  Image: World Economic Forum/swiss-image.ch

Swiss Re Group CEO Michel Liès, along with Felipe Calderon, former President of Mexico; Christiana Figueras, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of Foreign Affairs of France; and Feike Sijbesma, CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board, Royal DSM, participated in Closing the Climate Deal.

The debate, held during WEF Davos 2015, focused on how governments and the private sector must work together on an actionable programme. The panel was broadcast on the TV network France 24 and is available for playback.

Growth, addressing risks go hand-in-hand

"The goals of achieving economic growth and reducing climate risk are by no means in conflict. We do not have to choose between them," Liès said during the debate, televised by France 24.

"In fact, sustained growth cannot be achieved unless we address the risks associated with climate change. To realize growth opportunities, governments and businesses must therefore actively manage climate and other environmental risks and incorporate them in their economic and development strategies, as well as in their investment decisions."

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