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Politics

Mitsotakis among Panelists for Climate Change – An Existential Crisis, Nov. 30

November 26, 2021

ΑΤΗΕΝS – On Tuesday, November 30, 6 PM EET/11 AM EST, Harvard Business School’s Club of Greece presents Climate Change – An Existential Crisis, an online discussion featuring the distinguished panelists Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, European Commission Executive VP Frans Timmermans, and UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network President Jeffrey D. Sachs, along with moderator Stelios Zavvos, Harvard Business School Club of Greece Chairman. Register for the event online: https://events.bizzabo.com/373984/home.

The Press Release follows:

There is a global realization that this is the critical decade to address climate change and biodiversity loss by tackling the climate crisis with transformative actions.

Unchecked, climate change would bring devastating outcomes like droughts, famines, floods, heat waves, collapse of ecosystems and mass dislocations. Confronting these effects which could jeopardize our lives on the planet, the world set a goal to keep global warming within 1.5 C of preindustrial levels. The technological pathway is to decarbonize the global energy system by 2050, shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy, utilizing green energy for power generation, public and private transport, buildings, industry and agriculture. Restoring degraded land and eliminating deforestation are essential components to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century.

Technological innovations are necessary to make all these adjustments. Wind and solar power are already highly competitive and widespread. Game changing technologies like green hydrogen and advanced energy storage systems must scale up in addition to major digital transformation. Large investments are required to develop these technologies but inaction is far more costly.

Governments are required to make climate investments on a massive scale, implement necessary public investments and policies, emphasizing innovation and the associated opportunities for building a new economy. These Governments will face the difficult task of gaining public support for the costly policies and programs which are vital for our future. On the positive side the majority in many countries considers climate change the biggest challenge of this century.

The upcoming changes will upset some and benefit others creating tensions within and between countries. There is a need to provide targeted support to alleviate the socioeconomic impact in the most affected regions. The power balance will shift away from those controlling the fossil fuels to the ones mastering the green technologies, a shift with serious geopolitical effects.

EU is leading the way with major commitments including the pledge to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions targeting 55% by 2030 and achieving climate neutrality -net zero emissions by 2050. The European Green Deal is a massive and intricate collection of policies to achieve these objectives while growing the economy and improving the quality of life of all people living in the European Union. It is financed by one third of the €2trilion of the Next Generation EU recovery plan.

In Southern Europe and Greece, the potential to generate energy from solar and green hydrogen is vast, establishing new sustainable growth models based on renewable energy.

A Global Green Deal is required with the cooperation of all countries, the major outstanding issues include the rules for a global carbon market, the format for countries to report their emissions, the size of climate related financial assistance from rich countries to the developing ones. The US and China-the world’s biggest emitters-made a rare joint declaration a few days ago, to cooperate on climate change. A rapid transition to a clean energy world would protect our planet and put us on a path of sustainable wellbeing and political stability.

Our panel, composed by distinguished leading politicians and policymakers will address some of the most challenging themes of this unique climate crisis.

The Board of Directors of HBS Club would therefore like to invite you to participate in a discussion with the following distinguished panelists:

  • Kyriakos Mitsotakis – The Prime Minister is a leading voice for addressing climate change both in Greece and Europe.
  • Kristalina Georgieva – The Managing Director of the IMF is leading the financial policies and programs for climate change globally.
  • Frans Timmermans – The Executive VP of the European Commission is spearheading the policies and programs for climate change in Europe.
  • Jeffrey D. Sachs – The President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network is a global influence on climate change.

The discussion will be moderated by the Chairman of Harvard Business School Club of Greece, Stelios Zavvos.
The online discussion will take place on Tuesday, November 30th,2021 from 18.00 – 19:00 Athens time.

During the discussion you can send your questions to the panel through the Q/A button.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining.
Looking forward to an interesting and informative discussion.

The Board of Directors of The Harvard Business School Club of Greece.

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