Terry Leahy, the CEO of Tesco speaks about incentivizing the consumer to live a low carbon way of life at Policy Network’s ‘Politics of Climate Change’ conference on 5th June 2009 at the LSE. Leahy argues a green way of life begins and ends with the consumer and they must be motivated not just through tax and regulation to change their lifestyle. He believes governments cannot see consumers as a problem by restricting and rationing our lives, rather create frameworks and markets that encourages both businesses and consumers towards a better way of life.
Terry Leahy’s speech on the politics of climate change:
“As we prepare for Copenhagen later this year, we need to confront a brutal truth: our approach to tackling climate change is not working. On current trends, we’re going to miss all the targets we have set ourselves. We’re in this situation because the climate change debate is based on a number of wrong assumptions. One is that climate change can only be solved by big governments and big technology.
Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the CEO of the easyGroup, speaks about business’s role in transitioning to a low carbon lifestyle at Policy Network’s conference on the Politics of Climate Change on June 5th 2009 at the LSE. He argues that business must be pro-active in running their business in a sustainable way, but people must also make choices, including consuming goods which use less resources and are more environmentally friendly. Stelios also argues that government’s tax the aircraft for take-off because it is the engine, not the passenger, that causes the pollution, encouraging airlines to scrap older aircraft.
Richard Lambert, the Director General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) speaks about transitioning to a low carbon lifestyle at Policy Network’s ‘Politics of Climate Change’ conference on 5th June 2009 at the LSE. Lambert argues that climate change is, as Lord Stern said, is ‘one of the great market failures’. He believes there is a real change of mood in the business community on mitigating climate change risk and creating new green products, and working with governments and consumers can build a sustainable society at an acceptable cost.
In his speech, Terry Leahy, CEO of Tesco, calls for an approach that empowers people to lead a low-carbon transition. People are far to often seen as part of problem and blamed for over consumption. Leahy, maintains that we need to encourage people to start doing things not to stop.
He argues that rewarding behaviour is crucial. Consumers want to go green, but they need help. Part of the solution must be to empower and motivate consumers to go green and make green choices, give them the information and this will allow businesses to green their supply chains. This in turn can be underpinned by new technology investment.
Leahy concludes with a new announcement that, Tesco has put in place plans to build the world’s first zero carbon store near Manchester, adding that collaboration is vital and consumers are a force for good.
*Live notes – not verbatim