Sonu Shivdasani, Chairman and CEO, Soneva Resorts
The Low-Carbon Countries Club
Mark Lynas, Climate Change Advisor to the President of Maldives
Although progress is slow in the international climate negotiations, more and more countries are beginning to realise that committing to a low-carbon future is good for them in economic as well as environmental terms. The Maldives was in the forefront, but there are several other carbon-neutral aspirant countries now too, including Costa Rica and Ethiopia. Many more developing countries are making strong commitments that they need never become as fossil fuel-addicted as the developed world, and some of the most vulnerable poorer countries are determined to be ‘victors rather than victims’ in the overall climate effort. Within the ‘progressive’ Cartagena Dialogue group of countries, a ‘low-carbon club’ is emerging, which the Maldives and Sweden are jointly coordinating.
Consequences of Climate Inaction
Jakob von Uexkull, Founder, World Future Council Foundation
Real climate action such as the rapid uptake of renewable energy technologies is not a gift to environmentalists but already more efficient than fossil fuels and nuclear power and economically profitable. But as long as policy frameworks benefit the problem technologies true cost comparisons are almost impossible.
Inaction has massive consequences for our ecosystems, economy, security and everything else we depend on.
The Coming Global Energy Crisis and How it Might Affect Small Island States
Jeremy Leggett, Founder and Chairman, Solarcentury
The nuclear industry is in retreat. Oil supply is under massive pressure, geopolitical and – if one accepts the risk narrative of groups like the UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security – geological too. With gas and coal still under enduring climate pressure, governments will be mobilising cleantech for electricity, heating and motive power on an emergency basis soon. This process will be global, and will have downsides and upsides for small island states.
The lifeblood of the Planet: Preserving ocean biodiversity
Drawing on their shared love and experience of the ocean, the panel will discuss the many threats to ocean life – from over-fishing to ocean acidification to rising seas. What are the implications for all of planetary inhabitants, and what kind of stewardship role should the travel and tourism industry be playing?
• Chair: Chris Gorell Barnes, Co-Founder, Blue Marine Foundation
• Fabien Cousteau, Founder, Plant A Fish
• Daryl Hannah, Actor, Environmental Activist
• Jon Bowermaster, Writer, Film-Maker and Adventurer
Richard Branson, Chairman, The Virgin Group
Richard Branson, Chair of the Virgin Group, will talk about the challenge of a changing environment to his business portfolio – not just a changing climate, but also a changing economic climate. He will discuss the ways in which the Virgin empire is evolving to meet these changes, including alternative fuel sources and technologies for Virgin’s fleet of trains, ships and aircrafts. He will discuss opportunities that are both environmentally friendly, but also positioning the group for the future when the price of alternative fuels will come down and conventional fuel source prices will rise.
Responsible Waste Management
Edward Norton, Chairman and Michael Walker, CEO, Baswood
Managing bio-solids waste and wastewater is not just an environmental headache, but also a costly process for any sizeable resort. Baswood are pioneers in environmentally responsible biosolids reduction and wastewater treatment – and at a lower total cost to more polluting alternatives. Edward Norton and Michael Walker will share their experience of launching a system that requires less energy than conventional means, and could prove an inspiration to small island destinations.