Cleantech San Diego, the premier innovation network for bleeding edge sustainability technology, hosted Tom Steyer the vocal voice for climate change advocacy. Steyer was in San Diego to share his thoughts on the climate change issues facing the world and used a recently published report by RiskyBusiness.org to frame the discussion. Steyer, who is the founder of Farallon Capital, a NorCal based hedge fund and investment manager with billions of dollars in assets under management (AMU) is also the co-chair of the Risky Business forum. He launched this bi partisan group along with Mayor Mike Bloomberg and former Treasury Secretary, Hank Paulson to bring further awareness to the devastating impacts of climate change on the economy.
Yes the economy! After years of focusing on the clear impairment to the environment that carbon is having and the scientific communities overwhelming agreement that the earth and our climate are warming by alarming rates--the group is instead taking a different, less partisan approach.
Steyer's group has published a compelling scientific report called From Risk to Return--the case for investing in Clean Energy Economy. The report lays out the simple economic case for embracing a drastically lower carbon burning and consuming world--if we don't, GDP is projected to fall by 37% by 2100, "making the impacts of the Great Depression look mild by any measure.." noted Steyer in his remarks.
The report makes several recommendations to transition to a cleaner energy economy, which rests on three pillars:
* Moving from fossil fuels to electricity wherever possible
* Generating electricity with low or zero carbon emissions
* Using energy much more efficiently.
Beyond these fundamental pillars, the report lays out the billions in annual investment required to change the risk curve--some $350B in annual investments.
The report is backed up by one of the most esteemed bi partisan groups one could hope to assemble; George Shultz the former Secretary of State under Regan and Robert Rubin the Sec. of Treasury in the Clinton administration to name a few.
Cleantech San Diego and the larger region have a long history of environmental leadership and developing innovative clean energy technologies. San Diego was ranked #3 Smartest Cities in the country and one of the largest solar economies in the world.