Davos Notebook

Failure of Copenhagen cannot be repeated, SAP chief says

January 28, 2010

Failure to agree a successor to the Kyoto protocol would lead to countries pursuing their own objectives and expose world economies to protectionism, CEO of business software company SAP Léo Apotheker said while in Davos to attend the World Economic Forum.

“Copenhagen was supposed to be the big successor of Kyoto but, as we all know, it was not a big success,” Apotheker said. “I felt already at Copenhagen that this was midnight. Now it is probably already a minute past midnight and we cannot afford yet another failure.”

“The danger of not coming to an agreement is that many countries will go on a unilateral path to achieve their own objectives at which point in time we might fall into protectionism,” Apotheker added. This situation, combined with the effects of climate change, would be a “double whammy disaster.”

Apotheker went on to say that regulation within a global framework was needed before the Kyoto agreement runs out. Watch the video clip at the top of the page for more.

Apotheker also said that SAP had reduced its carbon footprint by 15 percent by adopting responsible business practices and embracing the need to adapt. “This, by the way, saved us 80 million euros so it’s good for business and it’s easy to do,” he said.

In the video clip below Apotheker calls for businesses to move their agenda forward and do what world leaders were not able to do in Copenhagen — “take their responsibilities seriously.”

In the next video clip Apotheker talks about the carbon targets he has set for SAP.

In this final clip, Apotheker discusses the need to agree a price on carbon and why a cap and trade system is an effective way to control emissions.

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