TEDxNewYork is held at GreyNY, 200 Fifth Avenue. We meet every week (mostly) on Fridays now and (mostly) from 1-2pm. We are open to the public. If you want to attend, send a note to admin@tedxnewyork.com (that's Don McKinney & Chel O'Reilly) with your vitals. Our biggest limitation is space so give us plenty of notice and we'll do our best to accommodate. Hope to see you at one of our events soon.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The panel this morning is getting serious.

On stage is:
Anders Eldrup, CEO and President, DONG Energy
Shai Agassi, Founder and CEO, Better Place
Samuel A. DiPiazza, Jr., CEO, PricewaterhouseCoopers
James E. Rodgers, Chairman, President, and CEO, Duke Energy
David Blood, Senior Partner, Generation Investment Management
Anders Eldrup, CEO and President, DONG Energy
Yoichi Funabashi, Editor-in-Chief, The Asahi Shimbun
Sir Crispin Tickell, Director of the Policy Foresight Programme, James Martin Institute for Science and Civilization, Oxford University
Moderated by Nik Gowing

These CEOs are calling for a higher global price on carbon to push innovation. However, there is little faith that politicians will ratify anything that makes life uncomfortable.

Shai Aggassi: "A $200 tax per ton of carbon would raise the price of oil $2 per gallon. That price increase results in a 0.4% reduction in driving." In other words, a tax, in Shai's opinion is not going to get it done.

Sir Crispin Tickell: "People have to be told that there is a price for the carbon they put in the air."

David Blood: "We must expose the organizations and people who are lobbying against regulation." He continues, "Investing in companies that do not address these issues are bad investments. They are sub-prime assets."

James Rogers: "I had a shareholder meeting this year that said I was wasting money by going out and talking about this issue."

Shai Aggassi: If you emit tons and tons of carbon and you cut that by 10%, you get a lot of credit. If I go out with cars that don't emit any carbon, I don't get any credit. What I need to do is buy up all the emitting cars and replace them with non-emitting cars, just so we can get the credit."

Interjection from the audience: "I'm very disappointed in this conference. We aren't talking about the effects. I'm from South Africa. We're the canary in the coal mine. Next year we will be out of water. There will be six million people with no water. Do you want to put that on the agenda?"

Another from the audience: "We must get back to business leadership. There are parties in Australia who are willing to say 'if you regulate us we will leave' that isn't leadership, that's fear."

Sir Crispin Tickell: "The fundamentals of economics are broken. We have to re-examine economics if we want to fix this."

David Blood: "Business owners understand the problems. Investors and asset managers do not. Investors are lagging behind."

James Rogers: "What we think of energy conservation now will be seen as very primitive soon. We need to break away from short-term thinking."

David Blood: The best way to run a company is long term. Asset managers must get back to long-term thinking. We need to realize that climate issues have been seen as an issue from the left. This is not a liberal issue. That thinking has caused a lot of cynicism. We need to look at this from an economic standpoint not as a partisan issue.

Shai Aggasi: Capital is hard to get. If you wait till tomorrow, you'll get a better price per share. As long as they see the market going down, they will hesitate.

James Rogers: You can give investors a speech about the long-term, but investment terms have gone from five years to 18 months.

David Blood: We must include the developing world. If we do not engage them we will fail in December.

The final question: "Have we been bold enough?" The panel was split.

No comments:

Post a Comment