Business impatient with Bush

20 May 2005

George W. Bush is reportedly getting an earful on climate change from some the heaviest hitters in the business world.

Today's IHT republishes this from yesterday's New York Times:

Jeffrey Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric runs the biggest company in America, and for that reason some environmental groups hailed his speech last week on climate change as a tipping point in the global warming debate. Immelt did not directly criticize Bush. But he left no doubt that he believes mandatory controls on emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, are necessary and inevitable. And he said he would double General Electric's investments in energy and environmental technologies to prepare it for what he sees as a huge global market for products that help other companies - and countries like China and India - reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

Mr. Immelt's speech is not the only sign of impatience among Mr. Bush's business allies. In New York, two dozen leading institutional investors managing more than $3 trillion in assets recently urged American companies to address the risks of climate change and to invest more heavily in strategies to reduce those risks.

Meanwhile, in another cranny of the Anglosphere, a group called Article 13 publishes a report in the run up to the G8 Summit titled Climate Change and Poverty: A Business Opportunity? (interesting report, but do they have tin ears?)

And, in a letter in the 18 May Financial Times, Paul Moxey, Head of Corporate Governance and Risk Management at the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, writes:

Businesses will find that climate change presents opportunities as well as risks. Those companies that respond early to the risks posed by global warming will gain first mover advantage. It may be that more far sighted investors will gain a higher return for protecting the environment.

Caspar Henderson

See also earlier posts in this blog Climate Business (1) and Climate Business (2)

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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