Former President of Mexico Discusses the Economics of Climate Change

A Conversation With Felipe Calderon
Felipe Calderon, former Mexican President, speaks at Harvard Business School on April 14 during his lecture "Climate Change and Business" in Sprangler Auditorium.

During an address at the Business School on Monday, former President of Mexico Felipe Calderon argued that although private sector companies are often hesitant to adopt climate change initiatives, minimizing carbon emissions may prove extremely profitable.

The conversation, which was titled “Climate Change and Business,” attracted dozens of graduate students from the Business and Kennedy Schools.

Calderon highlighted how global leaders were still reluctant to address climate change only a few years ago, specifically mentioning an international conference in Copenhagen in 2009.

“Not all leaders and countries felt involved in the issue at that time,” Calderon said.

Nevertheless, Calderon noted that leaders have grown increasingly cognizant of the problems posed by climate change.

“[Today,] climate change is the most important challenge for a human being,” Calderon said.

Calderon pointed out a false dilemma many leaders in the private sector believe they face when trying to implement policies to reduce carbon emissions.

According to Calderon, many believe that “either you tackle climate change or you create economic growth.”

Those two goals, Calderon argued, are not mutually exclusive.

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