Big names at Seoul green summit

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Big names at Seoul green summit

As the world celebrates Earth Day today, Seoul is hosting the 4th annual Business for the Environment Global Summit, which will be attended by such international figures as Nobel Prize winner Al Gore, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and “Avatar” director James Cameron.

Government, business and NGO leaders will gather for the three-day event which started yesterday at COEX, southern Seoul. The opening address will be made today by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon followed by a keynote speech by President Lee Myung-bak.

Former U.S. Vice President Gore will make a keynote presentation titled “Our Choice: A plan to solve the climate crisis.” The president of the Republic of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, will also make a speech.

Heads of global companies including Nam Yong, vice chairman and CEO of LG Electronics and Branson will participate in discussions along with U.S. film director Cameron and Clarins Group Chairman Christian Courtin-Clarins.

Subjects to be discussed during the event will include renewable energy, climate change policies and a low carbon future, as well as resource efficiency and new green business models.

“Governments have a central role in fostering a green economy by sending the right market signals and by implementing imaginative market mechanism reforms,” said Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). “The challenge for business is how to translate this evolving landscape into low carbon, resource-efficient goods and services.”

The summit, held in Paris last year, is co-hosted by the UNEP, the UN Global Compact, the World Wide Fund for Nature and Korea’s Ministry of Environment. As in previous years, all discussions during the summit will be webcast around the world, and speakers will respond to questions from the Internet.


By Cho Jae-eun [jainnie@joongang.co.kr]

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