Third Annual Bloomberg Global Business Forum Concludes Underscoring Urgency of Public-Private Partnerships to Address Climate Change and Economic Instability
September 25, 2019
More Than 50 Heads of State and Delegation, and Over 200 CEOs, Participated
Speakers Included: Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern; 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush; 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton; President of the Republic of Colombia Iván Duque Márquez; Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi; Special Representative on Climate Change Affairs of China Xie Zhenhua;
Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney; Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat; JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon; The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger; International Monetary Fund Former Managing Director and European Central Bank Incoming President Christine Lagarde; Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra; European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström; Bank of America CEP Brian Moynihan; Alphabet and Google SVP and CFO Ruth Porat; The Blackstone Group Chairman and CEO Stephen Schwarzman; The Goldman Sachs Group Chairman and CEO David M. Solomon; and Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam
Watch highlights of GBF 2019 here
NEW YORK, NY — Today Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, mayor of New York City 2002-2013, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, and WHO Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries, hosted the third annual Bloomberg Global Business Forum (GBF) at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. GBF brought together more than 50 heads of state and delegation with over 200 CEOs to discuss solutions to the rising threats of economic and environmental instability.
The theme driving the forum, “instability,” came alive at the beginning of the plenary session through a unique dance performance choreographed by world-renowned MacArthur “Genius” Award-winner Elizabeth Streb that reflected uncertainty in the global markets.
Mr. Bloomberg’s opening remarks underscored the urgency of the world avoiding the worst impacts of climate change by nations moving “entirely off fossil fuels and to an economy powered by 100 percent clean energy.” Yet, he said, “climate change isn’t the only challenge we face. Populism and protectionism are injecting uncertainty into the global economy. Trade wars are harming businesses and consumers. And geopolitical risks represent a real and growing threat to people’s livelihoods. So today is a chance for influential leaders to share ideas and have conversations that might not happen otherwise. We won’t agree on every subject, but in a world that’s increasingly polarized, it’s critical that leaders in the public and private sectors talk to one another and listen even when we disagree. That’s the only way we’re going to be able to solve problems, increase prosperity, and spread the benefits of growth more broadly.”
Mr. Bloomberg then welcomed the 2019 GBF keynote speaker, the Honorable Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, and announced two new initiatives in partnership with the Government of India focused on strengthening international investment. These two new initiatives – working with India to navigate inclusion in global benchmark indices, and supporting the development of India’s International Financial Services Center (IFSC) at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (“GIFT City”) – will leverage Bloomberg’s expertise and connectivity to help international investors access India’s capital markets, in turn providing India’s businesses and government with new funds to invest and grow.
In his keynote address, Prime Minister Modi said, “The roadmap for India’s growth has taken shape. India has set an ambitious target for itself of $5 trillion. It is a golden opportunity for the business world to form partnerships with India to accompany it on its journey.” Bloomberg and the Prime Minister then had a conversation addressing the opportunity for partnership and international development, and responsibility for advancing climate action.
The Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI) and the Association of European Development Finance Institutions (EDFI) launched a partnership that will advance the public-private collaboration vital to closing the climate finance gap in emerging markets. CFLI founding members – executives of Allianz Global Investors, AXA, Enel, Goldman Sachs, Government Pension Investment Fund (Japan), HSBC, and Macquarie – participated in two plenary panels focused on harnessing the power of finance to fight climate change, and investing in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
In a separate discussion about investing in climate action and trade with private and public sector leaders, Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade, European Commission said, “Trade cannot solve all of the problems of the world. But it can be a factor if it’s well done. Trade is also about trading environmentally friendly goods, and sharing ideas and innovation. Isolating and closing the doors definitely does not help the climate.”
The Honorable Xie Zhenhua, Special Representative for Climate Change Affairs of China, joined Henry M. Paulson, Jr., Chairman of the Paulson Institute and Former Secretary of the Treasury, and David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman, The Carlyle Group, on stage to speak about China’s achievements and challenges in tackling climate change, China’s current view on Paris Climate Accord, and the relationship between economic development and climate change.
Minister Xie said, “We have a 2030 target for climate change. We have estimated that we need to invest $4.2 trillion of R&D to address this issue, and it will enable 6,900 employment opportunities. It is important to set a goal, and now we need to establish the supplementary economic mechanisms, including taxation and policies.”
Additional mainstage speakers included Mark Carney, Governor, Bank of England; Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase, and Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company in conversation about modern leadership; and Tidjane Thiam, CEO, Credit Suisse.
GBF’s plenary showcased a short film, “The Conversation,” which was introduced by Christine Lagarde, Former Managing Director of the IMF and Incoming President of the European Central Bank, and directed by award-winning Nigerian filmmaker, Emo Edosio. A second video, “Global Solutions to Climate Change,” narrated by Bloomberg TV anchor Francine Lacqua, showcased innovative public and private projects addressing climate change in five countries.
GBF attendees took part in broadcast sessions and in-depth discussions throughout the day on topics such as how climate change is reshaping agriculture, central banks as key players to tackle climate change, the gender equality gap, and the opportunities and challenges of operating in the digital age.
In the morning, a partnership was announced between Michael Bloomberg, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Will Marshall, CEO, Planet, the San Francisco-based satellite imaging company, on “Satellites for Climate Action,” a new initiative that will use satellite data to inform and accelerate climate protection. The coordinated effort will bring together governments, philanthropists, environmental groups, and technology companies to use satellite technologies to monitor greenhouse gas emissions and turn satellite data into actionable information.
In a conversation between Ruth Porat, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Alphabet and Google, and Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber, on the need for regulation, Porat said, “Technology is a force for good but it has had negative unintended consequences and it’s important that we remain ahead of it. For us, it’s about raising the bar on ourselves whether it’s on privacy or security or content and working with regulators and civil society on smart regulations.”
“Technology increasingly creates super powers and…society is trying to figure out where the ultimate responsibility lies,” said Khosrowshahi. “We are going to be part of that dialogue but I don’t want that dialogue to get in the way of getting better, smarter.”
During a discussion on navigating global instability, Stephen Schwarzman, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, The Blackstone Group said, “There is a lot to worry about. Social media and the internet are making it very difficult for any government to function…[because of] instant mobilization of opposition. It even makes it difficult for companies sometimes.”
In the afternoon, former President Bill Clinton and H.E. Iván Duque Márquez, President of Colombia spoke with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice-President of the European Commission, Bruce Flatt, CEO, Brookfield Asset Management, and Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank about strengthening economic and environmental stability in Colombia through global partnership and investment.
“I consider the contribution the United States made to Colombia one of the most important initiatives I took as president. And I’m encouraged that we’re coming together again to support Colombia and its democracy,” said former President Bill Clinton. “If there‘s anyone here inclined to invest in the region, you should.”
To close the day, former President George W. Bush and Ambassador Deborah L. Birx announced at GBF that, in its first year, the Go Further partnership to end AIDS and cervical cancer has reached over half a million HIV positive women with cervical cancer screenings and treated thousands of women for pre-invasive cancerous lesions.
“We strongly believe that by helping these leaders save lives in their countries it makes the world a better place and makes America more secure,” former President Bush said. “We have many leaders here, all of whom are taking the lead, all of whom are responsible, all of whom are measuring results. It’s important for the American people to know that the results are astounding.”
“The future of each of your countries depends on all of your citizens—men and women—taking care of their health,” Mrs. Laura Bush added.
Now in its third year, the Bloomberg Global Business Forum continues to bring together top political, economic, and business leaders to discuss the importance of cooperation, diplomacy, and shared responsibility for economic prosperity and environmental stability.
Please visit https://gbf.bloomberg.org/videos/ for video footage of GBF.
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About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies invests in 510 cities and 129 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s giving, including his foundation and personal philanthropy as well as Bloomberg Associates, a pro bono consultancy that works in cities around the world. In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $767 million. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.