Participated at the Future of Europe Summit in Andorra. Some very interesting sessions and good presentations. One of the best short overviews of the dynamics around the financial crisis I have heard was given by Cinzia Alcidi, Research Fellow, Centre for European Policy Studies, CEPS. Frank suggestions for the way forward was given by a number of participants such as Wolfgang Munchau, Associate Editor, Financial Times. Geoffrey Lipman, Special Advisor to the Secretary General, World Tourism Organization, UNWTO put the current challenges for Europe in a global context and had some very interesting ideas for how Tourism could play a key role in the transition toward a sustainable economy (not just a low carbon economy).
The panel I participated in, “Europe towards a lower carbon economy: from rhetoric to realities after Copenhagen”, focused on what is needed to make Europe a leader in the second phase when real reductions must take place. Europe took the lead when incremental reductions were discussed (5-10% reductions under the Kyoto protocol), but as the focus shift towards the reductions that are needed the next decades (40-80% reductions) Europe seems lost and unwilling to support a new generation a fair chance. The big old companies are dominating the agenda and smaller/smarter companies have a difficult time.
Holger Hartmann, CEO, BadenSolar, Germany gave a good overview of the kind of companies that are needed (companies that can create tailor-made solutions based on sustainable and decentralized energy sources). Mark Scott, Reporter, BusinessWeek, UK gave an overview of some of the initiatives that exist and Mihela Hladin, Founder, Greennovate, Slovenia and MAGIC, Made Green In China, gave an example of concrete work in China.
The session was moderated by Gert Van Mol, The Wall Street Journal Europe, who concluded that a leading Europe must be a Europe that collaborates with the world, not the least China. The need for en new generation of entrepreneurs was highlighted as well.