It was a fancy dinner sponsored by Ned Bank last night. An event held in the honor of Wangari Maathai, whose passion inspired millions and whose spirit remains present in nearly all events here at COP 17. Speakers included the Prince of Monaco, the CEO of Ned Bank, the Executive Director of the UNEP, and the passionate group of youngsters from the Plant for the Planet campaign, led by Felix Finkbeiner (who absolutely stole the show).
You look into the eyes of these passionate (at times a little angry) youths and wonder how on Earth we are talking about waiting until 2020 to SOLVE this problem. “We will not pollute like you do” implored an adorable boy no older than 5 years of age.
The CEO of Ned Bank gave a great speech as well, noting that his company’s green exchange portfolios (that is comprised of sustainably progressive companies) is outperforming general portfolios by 30%. He also reminded the audience that even if they have never been to the African continent, they are returning after about a 70,000 year trip. Like the good businessman he is, he also looked at our GHG emission problem as a budget problem, where we are spending emission capabilities much much too quickly. One looks to Greece and Italy with worry. If we can’t balance national budgets, how can we budget global emissions.