Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
But Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer, the head of Austrian oil and gas group OMV, reckons cutting carbon emissions is inevitable in the long run, despite the financial crisis and its impact.
“I think the price signals of the last two years will not be forgotten by consumers and politicians and therefore the thrust towards renewables will continue, maybe at a slightly slower pace,” he told the Reuters Central European Investment Summit.
For some, going green is a luxury in harder economic times: Poland and Italy aren’t too happy about European Union legislation to fight climate change and say it could hurt their
economies at a time of slower growth.
Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP Group presides over the world’s second largest advertising services company. Business leaders the world over have consulted him on his views on how global economic trends will unfold. Many credit him with being far-sighted on the emergence of India and China, on the importance of the Internet and new media.
Today, at the Reuters Global Technology Media and Telecoms Summit, he suggested that corporations consider a complete about-face to the basic marketing idea entrenched for decades in the U.S. and Europe.
One of the paradoxes we’re probably going to have to deal with in our industry is that historically, we’ve encouraged consumers to consume more. What we may have to do, particularly in the West as the oil price gets to $140, $150 or maybe even $200 (per barrel) … we may have to encourage people to consume less. That’s a very different approach.
Asked during the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecom Summit what he’s doing at home about the environment, Simonson joked, “One of my daughters has just gone vegan. I haven’t figured out what’s the carbon footprint of that.”