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The Upside of Hurricane Katrina

April 22, 2010, 12:00 AM
Is there anything we can do about the global increase in tropical storms? Ernst Weizsäcker, co-chair of the U.N.’s International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management, thinks Hurricane Katrina may have provided a call to action. Thanks in part to the terrible tragedy, the chances for getting climate change policies through Congress—or through parliaments worldwide—are greatly improving.

The longer we wait to address the problem, the more expensive it will become, says Weizsäcker. In actuality, it could take 20 or 50 years for us to see the fruits of our labor. But that realization shouldn't stop us from moving quickly, he says: Katrina was only the beginning.

This interview is part of a series on business sustainability, "Balancing People, Planet and Profit: The Future of Business Sustainability," sponsored by Logica. So far, the series has featured interviews with Peter Brabeck, the Chairman of Nestle; Gro Harlem Brundtland, Special Envoy on Climate Change, U.N.; Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Group; and Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at the International Energy Agency. The series examines ways that business interests can be better aligned with the greater social good.

The Upside of Hurricane Kat...

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