Responses to the global climate agreement in Paris by international managers of the Global Executive MBA of HHL and EADA Business School
Last Saturday (Dec. 12, 2015) the international community of nations agreed to a ground-breaking global climate treaty. It is the first time that all 195 signing countries are committed by contract to make efforts in the fight against global warming. The aim of the agreement is to pursue efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 to 2 degrees and to provide financial and technical support for developing countries to reach that aim.
Foreign Companies in Asia Must Set Own Environmental Policies
“The governments and the economies need to work hand in hand whereas the governments need to create appropriate legislations and the right incentives to invest into greener industries. Unfortunately, this process has been very slow for reasons of complacency, denial, and dependence on the status quo. Having worked in Asia for the last decade, where a substantial part of the economic boom has been based on fuel subsidies by the government, it will need time to create a clearer awareness of the critical environmental situation, especially when the population starts to enjoy the status of affluent societies. Fuel subsidies however, are an inappropriate incentive and are politically motivated. Smog alerts must not become normality. Instead, revenues need to be reinvested to make the economies more sustainable, e.g. into inland waterways and railways as a start. Also, in the absence of comprehensive environmental regulations and their strict enforcement respectively, foreign companies in Asia must continue to set their own environmental policies as condition for doing business with them. Chambers of commerce are an adequate institution to communicate with local governments and to raise concerns against potential unfair practices from local competitors.
However, Asia is not the only example. Even in so-called developed countries like Germany still more Diesel-fueled cars are sold than anywhere else. More can be done for sure. In the end it’s a joint effort involving everyone to do the best for a common goal. By proactiveness, not by hesitation and protectionism, awareness can be created, greener products and behavior will become increasingly desirable, and foreign direct investment into more sustainable economies can be attracted. There are plenty of opportunities waiting.“
“Economic and Regulatory Measures Will Lead to Diversification and Energy Security”
“The consequences for the EU and my country’s economy, namely Bulgaria, will be profound. The EU has always been a leader in climate action and has been the first to adopt specific environmental and economic policies to cut the greenhouse gas emissions to stay below the 2% threshold. This agreement will enable a change in local government regulations that will lead to the closure of coal powered electric plants which have a big effect on pollution, as well as will boost investment in renewable energy projects. Bulgaria e.g. has been one of the leaders in South Eastern Europe in building renewable energy plants and is well underway to achieve the EU 20% renewable energy sources target. Economic activities will increase innovation and the go-to-market of new technologies like IT solutions for smart energy infrastructure and flexible energy trading platforms. These economic and regulatory measures will also lead to an increased diversification and energy security of my country and the region.”
Balancing Both Country’s Income and Biodiversity
“Now, the hard task is to materialize the plan in concrete actions and to assure the adequate cascade down within public and private entities to guarantee a joint work between all actors.
In Colombia, as a major biodiversity country, we have a double effort to achieve. We have to guarantee conservation while we have to assure leveraging our results. Government for sure will have a hard task to redistribute budgets and prioritize income sources were oil, gas and mining plays a big role in the national income versus the country’s biodiversity.
Finally, many climate issues have been addressed so far, but the key element to keep the right track towards achieving the expected goals is reinforcing the control authorities to assure they count with the correct budget and tools to demand actors’ fulfillment of the law and compliance with international standards.”
Well-Developed Countries to Support Environmental Safeguard of Poor Countries
“Unfortunately, in the South-East Europe (SEE) region, for which I am responsible, countries are in very poor economic situation. This results in the use of low-quality technologies which are not environmentally friendly and imply a high-energy consumption.
Each country should also assume responsibility and keep the environment clean because pollution cannot be stopped at borders and the effect of emissions is global.
Poor countries which try just to survive don’t have environmental topics on their radar, therefore more wealthy and well-developed countries have to support this process, and not only to dispatch their garbage in poor countries, who will accept it just because they need money.”
Climate Issue Will Change Company’s Strategies and Business Models
“We should not criticize what was already done and what, unfortunately, cannot be changed but on the contrary we should develop new strategies and business models that will have a sustainable and comprehensive impact. I believe that once the climate change subject becomes as powerful as it deserves we will see different company goals, different targets in executive’s annual plans and hopefully new solutions from digital technology which will help us to fix what we have broken long time ago.”
Germany as a Role Model and Motivator
“Climate protection must not be left solely to politics but also has to be addressed by the industry which, too, will have to face its ecological responsibilities. Germany ranks as one of the global pioneers in the development of renewable energy. Therefore, especially the German industry must act as an example and motivator for other industrial nations. The climate targets have to be taken up by companies that have to pursue them through resource-saving technologies, abandonment of noxious substances as well as through the use of renewable energy sources and climate-friendly products. All companies have a duty to set themselves coordinated climate targets. Only then will it be possible to meet the ambitious targets from Paris in their entirety.
Economic growth and CO2 reduction don’t have to be mutually exclusive – that has to be the central message of politicians in the coming years. Then, the Paris Agreement is not solely obligation, but also a chance, especially for those who recognized it as such.“
Education is key
“Economy should play a leading role when discussing the climate issue. Vital, too, is education. In short, the economies should become environmentally friendly by:
- Educating and creating a culture of saving and thinking about nature;
- Implementing higher environmental standards and very strict sanctions for companies that cause pollution;
- Encouraging and subsidizing the implementation of new environmentally friendly and more efficient technologies;
- Imposing the use of new technologies instead of old ones, especially those related to the causes of global warming;
- And, on a global level, to help other governments in implementing and educating the use of environmental friendly technologies.
The agreement in Paris is a good start for limiting the climate change and global warming but it is just the beginning of our long way to learn and adjust our businesses to be less harmful to nature.”
“Working Together Will Make the Difference”
“The agreement signed in Paris is a remarkable steep to truly start taking actions that prevent the damaging effects of the climate change. It is also the recognition that a model, in which pollution was considered just a side effect of creating wealth, is no longer sustainable. Peru, as many other Latin American countries, is blessed with minerals and natural resources. So, in order to continue growing under this new scenario new technologies as well as business models have to be developed. As international managers it is our duty to provoke, to nurture and to challenge the whole society so as to create new clean sustainable industries. It is a challenge that will require all our personal capabilities. Working together will make the difference.”
The Global Executive MBA Program of HHL and EADA
The Global Executive MBA Program of German HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and Spanish Escuela de Alta Dirección y Administración (EADA) focuses on the development of leadership skills and teaches about intercultural competence and the economic peculiarities of management in Southern and Northern Europe as well as Brazil, China and India. The program, which uses English as the classroom language, is designed especially for executives who have obtained several years of professional experience but have not studied business administration.
The structure of the 21-month Global Executive MBA Program has been adapted to the professional and personal needs of international managers. For the Executive MBA double degree from HHL and EADA, participants must successfully complete eight six-day residential weeks on various management disciplines over the course of 21 months and write a Master thesis.
The program consists of six compulsory modules of which three must be completed in Germany and three in Spain. Another two of three electives have to be completed at renowned business schools in Brazil, China or India.
In addition to teaching core competencies in economics, an executive coaching session as well as the development of key qualifications such as communication, negotiation, conflict and diversity management as well as intercultural management abilities, which are all essential for international leadership positions, is a vital part of the program.
Admission requirements for the program are a first-level academic degree, a minimum of five years professional experience of which at least three years is in a leadership position, and an excellent command of English. The tuition fees, including course material as well as room and board during the residential weeks, amount to EUR 45,000. www.hhl.de/gemba
HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management
HHL is a university-level institution and ranks amongst the leading international business schools. The goal of the oldest business school in German-speaking Europe is to educate effective, responsible and entrepreneurially-minded leaders. HHL stands out for its excellent teaching, its clear research focus, its effective knowledge transfer into practice as well as its outstanding student services. The courses of study include full and part-time Master in Management as well as MBA programs, a Doctoral program and Executive Education. According to the Financial Times, HHL ranks first in Germany and fifth globally for its entrepreneurship focus within the M.Sc. and EMBA programs. HHL is accredited by AACSB International. www.hhl.de
EADA Business School
Eada Business School (Escuela de Alta Dirección y Administración, EADA) is an international business school located in Barcelona. It offers programs for Master’s, MBA and Executive Education. EADA’s International Master in Management Program is ranked among the 30 best programs in the world by the Financial Times. The International Master in Finance Program ranks among the 30 best programs of its kind as well. In addition, EADA has been ranked among the top four business schools in Spain. In the 2015 Financial Times European Business School Ranking EADA reached 25th place. EADA is accredited by AMBA and EQUIS. www.eada.edu