The greening of Davos

With this year’s "green Davos," the issue of climate change is probably getting a solid third billing after the financial crisis and rising protectionism. Given the general disillusionment with any progress at an international government level, the debate is all tending towards the private sector.  There were a couple more speeches on climate change last night. One, terribly pedantic, ...

By , the president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media.
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

With this year's "green Davos," the issue of climate change is probably getting a solid third billing after the financial crisis and rising protectionism. Given the general disillusionment with any progress at an international government level, the debate is all tending towards the private sector. 

There were a couple more speeches on climate change last night. One, terribly pedantic, by a French United Nations rep -- I'd look up his name, but it doesn't seem worth it just to scold him. Easily 15 minutes too long and peppered with discussions of "symmetrical convergence," which, "of course, is where we are heading," and transformational something or other. Do these people get no feedback? When the United Nations gets a European crowd to completely turn off after about two minutes, that's really saying something. Or, um, not.

Meanwhile, Jim Rogers of Duke Energy did a solid job for it being both late (almost 10pm) and after dinner. The audience generally liked his call for driving entrepreneurship and much more (primarily private sector) capital for alternative energy investments. Not bad, especially since he kicked off with the admission that his company was the third largest carbon emitter in the United States ... something like 11th in the world, and if Duke were a country (call them Archduke) they'd be in the low forties. "Confession" says Jim, "is good for the soul."

With this year’s "green Davos," the issue of climate change is probably getting a solid third billing after the financial crisis and rising protectionism. Given the general disillusionment with any progress at an international government level, the debate is all tending towards the private sector. 

There were a couple more speeches on climate change last night. One, terribly pedantic, by a French United Nations rep — I’d look up his name, but it doesn’t seem worth it just to scold him. Easily 15 minutes too long and peppered with discussions of "symmetrical convergence," which, "of course, is where we are heading," and transformational something or other. Do these people get no feedback? When the United Nations gets a European crowd to completely turn off after about two minutes, that’s really saying something. Or, um, not.

Meanwhile, Jim Rogers of Duke Energy did a solid job for it being both late (almost 10pm) and after dinner. The audience generally liked his call for driving entrepreneurship and much more (primarily private sector) capital for alternative energy investments. Not bad, especially since he kicked off with the admission that his company was the third largest carbon emitter in the United States … something like 11th in the world, and if Duke were a country (call them Archduke) they’d be in the low forties. "Confession" says Jim, "is good for the soul."

Ian Bremmer will be blogging from Davos this week sending reports and commentary from inside the World Economic Forum.

Ian Bremmer is the president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media. He is also the host of the television show GZERO World With Ian Bremmer. Twitter: @ianbremmer

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