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September 4th, 2015
NABU-Kreuzfahrtranking 2015 – Branche am Scheideweg

Die Kreuzfahrtschiffe der führenden Anbieter werden sauberer, allerdings gibt es immer noch zu wenig Schiffe mit umweltfreundlicher Abgastechnik. Zu diesem Ergebnis kommt das diesjährige Kreuzfahrt-Ranking des NABU.

April 29th, 2014
A ‘Sweet Spot’ in tackling climate change?

Jeremy Oppenheim
Today (Monday April 28, 2014) Jeremy Oppenheim was in Toronto. Oppenheim is the director of the  Global Commission on the Economy and Climate (chaired by former Mexican President Felipe Calderon, co-chairs include Lord Nicholas Stern and the OECD Secretary-General). He was hosted by Corporate Knights’ Toby Heaps for a 'high level' lunch which included some of the top brass of Toronto’s investment, real estate, insurance and academic communities. And civil society, of course, David Miller (ex-Major of Toronto and now Head of WWF Canada) was there, too.

It was, first off, a real game changing experience to see a room of 30ish ‘climate activists’ in pinstripes (or female equivalent) convening over antipasto e bistecca to discuss the plight of the planet. Oppenheim's remarks were thought provoking as they reflected the current gist among those leaders that care seriously about climate change.

Oppenheim started by highlighting that the public debate has somewhat stalled as most of conversations on climate change evoke pretty unsexy, depressing and un-cool truths. Going on and on about threats linked to climate change just makes you a boring party pooper.

At least in person – he was all but. Eloquently, engaging and thoughtfully he relayed his core points. What struck me most is that amongst the experts, the entire debate about ‘avoiding’ or ‘fighting’ climate change is yesterday’s news. Oppenheim stated clearly that – in my words - we just have to suck it up that temperatures are about to rise by two degrees. The damage is done. Today’s debate is really about how to avoid global warming to reach three or even four degrees. A sobering – and somewhat chilling assessment.

Oppenheim – no less a McKinsey director on leave from their London offices – then pointed to the currently explored strategy - which hopefully can become a game changer: highlight the 'positive' side of climate change (in my words). Or to put it this way: adapting to climate change can already make economic sense now! He ran through a couple of examples from many places around the globe. Here is just one: Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon region has been identified as a great worry. What we see now though is that land owners in the Amazon are increasingly sympathetic to restrictions on turning rain forest into farm land: after all, the unlimited possibility of creating new farmland through cutting the forest decreases the value of their property. According to Oppenheim, those economic drivers are a huge force in favor of climate friendly policies.

It is interesting to see that a group of top business people is having this discussion. In the Canadian context, many of these will be laughed out of their Golf Clubs or seven star resorts in the Caribbean if they ever repeated to their buddies what they heard today. Canada, Oppenheim intimated with the maximum level of British politeness, is a real mess with regard to climate change action. So Oppenheim’s point was really that we have to change the story, change the way we communicate about it. Present it as a story of opportunity, rather than a story of threat. While Lord Stern’s report years ago was telling us ‘Pay a little now and you avoid being taken to the cleaners by climate change tomorrow!’ Oppenheim’s new message is: ‘You can actually make money on adapting to climate change NOW!’

I left the event with a somewhat ambiguous feeling. I was uplifted to see key players in business – from where most of the sources of carbon emissions are ultimately governed – acutely aware of the problem. I also liked the pragmatic gist of Oppenheim’s argument: We can use the current incentive structure in one of the most powerful engines of capitalism to ‘move the needle’ (I have to watch my language…) on pressing global issues. And - fair enough - there is some leeway.

At the same time, the by now worn out quote from Albert Einstein kept creeping up on me on my way home: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” A focus on short term economic gains for individual actors or organizations got us into this mess of climate change in the first place. And – we have to add – has prevented any large-scale meaningful response to date. So finding that ‘sweet spot’ (a quote from Jeremy Oppenheim’s McKinsey Website) where business interest and environmental needs converge may take us some way. But there can be little doubt that this is not going to really change the bigger picture.
Photo by Arbeiderpartiet. Reproduced under Creative Commons licence.

June 4th, 2012
First Online Course on Global Compact Principles Kicks Off in Latin America and the Caribbean

(Santiago de Chile) – Global Compact Local Networks in Argentina, Chile and Paraguay, in close collaboration with CapacitaRSE, have developed the first comprehensive “Online Diploma” covering the Global Compact’s ten principles in the areas of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption. The

May 1st, 2012
“Guidance on Responsible Business in Conflict-Affected and High Risk Areas: A Resource for Companies and Investors” Now Available in Spanish

(Bogota) – The Regional Center for the Support of the Global Compact in Latin America and the Caribbean has launched the Spanish version of the “Guidance on ResponsibleBusiness in Conflict-Affected and High -Risk Areas:A Resource for Companies and Investors”. The Guidance, developed by the

November 20th, 2011
Local Networks in the Americas Convene

(Mexico City) – The Global Compact Local Networks in the Americas convened on 10-11 November for a Regional Meeting in Mexico City, following the Latin America and Caribbean Global Compact Business Forum on 9 November. The Regional Meeting was attended by more than 30 representatives

November 12th, 2011
Global Compact Business Forum in Latin America Convenes to Advance Corporate Sustainability in the Region

(Mexico City) – More than 200 representatives from business, investor groups and Local Networks gathered at the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV: BOLSA) to attend the Latin America and Caribbean Global Compact Business Forum. The Forum was organized by the Regional Center for the Support

October 25th, 2011
Regional Center for Latin America and the Caribbean Takes Training Program on the Road

(Bogotá) – In an effort to improve implementation of Global Compact principles and Communications on Progress throughout the region, the Regional Center for the Support of the Global Compact in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) has taken its training program “on the

August 25th, 2011
Global Compact Launches Ecuador Network

The Global Compact Ecuador Network was launched during the “First Quito Forum: Responsible Cities and Organizations” on 26 July 2011, during which forty companies and organizations in Ecuador ratified their commitment to the Global Compact. The Ecuadorian Consortium for Social Responsibility (CERES) will

July 1st, 2011
Global Compact Relaunches Mexican Network

(Mexico City) – Almost 200 representatives from business, government, civil society and academia met in Mexico City for the relaunch of the Global Compact Mexico Network. The event was hosted by the business school IPADE (Instituto Panamericano de Alta Direccion de Empresas), which

December 8th, 2010
Global Compact Launches Local Network in Costa Rica

(San José) – Today, over 200 representatives from business, civil society, Government and the United Nations participated in the official launch of the Global Compact Local Network Costa Rica. The Local Network was realized through the support of UNDP Costa Rica, the National Advisory

July 25th, 2010
Unwritten Rules

People generally underestimate the important role played by unwritten rules in just about every facet of our lives. From family, to church to work to play, all sorts of unwritten rules (philosophers may refer to them as “norms” or “conventions”) give structure to, and generally civilize, our world. Some unspoken rules are pernicious, of course. [...]

January 29th, 2010
New UN-Business Website Brokers Partnerships & Supports UN Development Mission

UN introduces business.un.org, a one-stop gateway to broker UN-business partnerships, facilitate donations and highlight success stories (Davos) – Business.un.org the new UN-business partnership gateway, will be introduced today at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting held in Davos, Switzerland. The website provides a

November 5th, 2009
Local Networks Unite on MDG Project in Latin America and the Caribbean

(Santiago) – Global Compact Local Networks in Latin America and the Caribbean have agreed to develop an assessment of the private-sector contribution to development, to be presented at the 2010 Global Compact Leaders Summit in New York. This was among the outcomes of

October 31st, 2009
Regional Support Center Opens in Latin America with Strong Backing

(Bogota) – The Regional Center for the Support of the Global Compact in Latin America and the Caribbean was launched today at an event that drew participation from the private and public sectors throughout the Latin American region. 115 members of the regional

August 31st, 2009
CSR Interview with Nancy Mahon from the M•A•C AIDS Fund

As part of our ongoing series of executive interviews related to corporate social responsibility (CSR), Development Crossing recently had the opportunity to ask Nancy Mahon, Executive Director of the M•A•C AIDS Fund a few questions about the foundation and its initiatives around the

June 28th, 2007
Mit Journalismus gegen Korruption: Preisverleihung von Transparency International

Journalisten aus Südamerika haben mit ihren Beiträgen Korruption im öffentlichen Sektor aufgedeckt. Dafür wurden sie jetzt mit dem Journalistenpreis der Organisation Transparency International ausgezeichnet Der Preis wird gemeinsam vergeben von Transparency International for Latin America and the Caribbean (TILAC) und dem Instituto Prensa y

June 27th, 2007
Journalists from Brazil and Colombia win Prize for Investigative Journalism in Latin America – Articles expose corruption in public sector and traffic of influence

The worldwide organisation against corruption, Transparency International, has awarded a prize to journalists this week. Transparency reported as follows: Two outstandingTwo series of investigative articles that expose political corruption and traffic of influence in Brazil and Colombia won the Prize for Best Investigative Journalism

June 24th, 2006
Venezuelan journalists win prestigious Latin American award for exposing corruption

Two Venezuelan journalists who uncovered irregularities in the investigation of the Danilo Anderson case share first prize of US $25,000 Journalists from La Nación (Costa Rica) and El Imparcial, (Mexico) were tied for a second prize of US $5,000 each Berlin / Lima 23 June,

May 19th, 2006
IDB publishes Sustainability Review 2005 – ReportAlert.info!

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) released its first Sustainability Review in April 2006. The review tracks the Bank’s progress in promoting social and environmental sustainability in IDB-financed projects in its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The report is available on

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