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"Vancouver's Green Future an Inspiration: Robert Kennedy Jr." by the Vancouver Sun


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Article focusing on the highly recognized GLOBE 2014 speaker, Robert Kennedy Jr.

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"Vancouver's Green Future an Inspiration: Robert Kennedy Jr." by the Vancouver Sun

  1. 1. DDYAFFE: B.C. INVESTMENT OUTLOOK ‘DISAPPOINTING’ » D3 BUSINESSBC THURSDAY, MARCH 27  | 2014  | 604.605.2520 | SUNBUSINESS@VANCOUVERSUN.COM S & P/TSX 14,184.10 115.39 Dow Jones 16,268.99 98.89 TSXVenture 1003.25 15.01 S & P 500 1,852.56 13.06 Dollar 90.22¢ US 0.61 Gold 1,303.40 8.00 Oil 100.26 1.07 Natural Gas 4.40 0.01 Environmental ▶agency seeks input A multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas project proposed for B.C.’s north coast is inching its way through the environmental approval process. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency announced Wednesday that a 30-day public comment period for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project will begin April 2 and end May 1. The announcement follows last month’s publication of an environmental-impact statement that predicts the project’s effects on air quality would not be significant, but it would increase the province’s greenhouse-gas emissions annually by more than eight per cent. Crimea fuels Obama ▶pitch for trade deal A transatlantic free trade deal would allow the European Union to reduce its dependence on Russian energy and strengthen its ability to stand up to Mos- cow on issues like Ukraine, U.S. President Barack Obama said Wednesday. Several of the 28 EU nations regret their heavy dependence on Rus- sian gas now that they are seeking to punish Moscow for its annexa- tion of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. Obama showed his willingness to help with the EU’s energy quandary. “Once we have a trade agree- ment in place, export licences for projects — for liquefied natural gas destined to Europe — would be much easier, some- thing that’s obviously relevant in today’s geopolitical climate,”Obama said. Legislation of grain ▶movement sought Canada wants to set minimum require- ments for the movement of grain by the nation’s two major railways to help ease a backlog that has left as much as $20 billion of grain stuck on prairie farms. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Transport Minister Lisa Raitt intro- duced the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act Wednesday to respond to challenges currently facing Canada’s rail shipping system. Malcolm Parry: Trade Talk A chance encounter brought Pe- ter Dupuis and Sid Landolt together. The result was a real estate and condo business. Now their World Housing char- ity helps people around the globe. » D2 Malcolm Parry: Trade Talk A chance encounter brought Pe- ter Dupuis and Sid Landolt together. The result was GERRY KAHRMANN/PNG American environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. discusses clean capitalism at the Globe 2014 conference in Vancouver on Wednesday. BRIAN MORTON VANCOUVER SUN Robert F. Kennedy Jr. believes Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robert- son and his Vision council are front and centre in helping reestablish Canada’s reputation as one of the most environmentally aware places on earth. “I’ve been following what’s hap- pening in Vancouver,” said the internationally acclaimed envi- ronmentalist in an interview dur- ing the Globe 2014 conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre Wednesday. “We’re all very encouraged by what the mayor’s doing, the 10-point plan the mayor has to make this (city) the lowest per capita carbon emissions city in the world and green in a lot of other ways. I think it brings us back to a lot of the things that Canada and B.C. have represented to the world.” Kennedy, president of Water- keeper Alliance and venture part- ner for Vantage Point Capital, made the comment following an hour-long discussion with Wal van Lierop, president and CEO of Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, titled Clean Capitalism Armchair: Innovation and the Clean Technol- ogy Future. During the talk, the men discussed the promise of clean energy technology for a more sus- tainable, less carbon-intensive energy future, and how policies and programs to stimulate invest- ment need to be expanded. Kennedy said later in the inter- view that he supports a carbon tax such as the one B.C. brought in several years ago. “A carbon tax is a mechanism for forcing the coal and oil and gas industries to pay the true cost of bringing their product to market,” he said. “A study came out this week that said that one out of eight deaths on the planet last year was caused by emissions from carbon-burning fuels. It’s not just an environmental issue, it’s also a moral issue. British Columbia is like the moral fulcrum of Canada, which is a nation every- body in the world looks up to.” However, Kennedy noted that during the last several years, Can- ada’s reputation as an environ- mental leader has slipped, and that Japan now spends 100 times as much as Canada on renewable energy. “A lot of the laws we use have been eviscerated by the current government,” he said. “It’s a sad thing because we’ve always looked to Canada and par- ticularly B.C., which is kind of the moral heart and soul of Canada, as a place where people understood that good environmental pol- icy is the same as good economic policy.” During the discussion with van Lierop, Kennedy said environmen- talism is about having a function- ing free market. “A true free market promotes efficiency and efficiency eliminates waste. And pollution is waste. In a true free market, we would be compelled to value our natural resources.” Van Lierop said fusion is the “holy grail” of clean energy. “And it’s happening here in B.C. It’s getting very, very close. We have tremendous opportunity here in B.C.” Kennedy said the transition to a cleaner environment can be much faster than many believe. “I think we can do this much quicker. We can’t listen to people who say we have to move slowly.” Kennedy noted that electric cars only cost about three cents a mile to run, compared to 24 cents for a gasoline-powered car. The cost sav- ing over 10 years, he said, is about $20,000. “We’ll see a very fast free mar- ket adaptation to electric cars. And when it happens, we’ll see a lot of oil stranded,” he said. As an example of how costs for new technology fall quickly, Ken- nedy cited the huge drop in prices for flatscreen televisions. “The pace of innovations is much quicker in our lifetimes. Last year, every single American auto com- pany had an electric car,” he said. “And you’re seeing prices come down. It will strand the internal combustion engine. You won’t see Edison light bulbs in five years.” Asked what can be done right away, Kennedy said governments should rewrite the regulatory rules “to reward people for conserving energy.” Van Lierop said in order to achieve results, “we all need to become leaders. Buy an elec- tric vehicle. And business leaders should create a welcome environ- ment for new technologies. Sup- port fusion. It’s the holy grail of cheap energy.” bmorton@vancouversun.com GLOBE 2014 Vancouver’s green future an inspiration: Robert Kennedy Jr. Acclaimed U.S. environmentalist praises Mayor Gregor Robertson “ Good environmental policy is the same as good economic policy. ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR. 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