Target Green

Partnering for change, voluntarily or not

Speakers at a session of Target Green this morning on “Clean Tech and Public Policy” noted that partnerships among businesses, government agencies, advocacy groups and others are key to bringing about meaningful change in the consumption of energy, emission of CO2, and related public education efforts, if environmental experts are correct in estimating that the world has about 10 years before the pace of global warming becomes too fast too reverse.

Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, laid out the reasons “why”: in the US, for instance, gas and oil prices are at record levels and petroleum imports are at 60% and rising. Then she discussed “how”: In employing “clean technologies,” the first step is R&D, then incentives must be offered to get people to buy the products, accompanied by a public education campaign, and then finally standards can be set by regulators or governments to make sure superior products are favored in the marketplace.

“You need the public element to make those products take ahold,” Callahan said.

In some cases, the impact of the government might not always be welcomed by the private sector, making for something of an involuntary partnership. But as Mike Stanton, chairman of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers noted in the case of gas-mileage standards for cars, change is coming whether people like it or not.

1 Comment so far

  1. Jennifer Nagassar on October 6th, 2007

    I’m devastated that I missed the conference, I had my days mixed up.
    How was it?

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