Businessmen in Panama urge to actively engage against climate change

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  • Thu, 05/31/2018 - 16:28
V Foro de Sostenibilidad "Rentabilidad de los negocios ante el cambio climático
  • @gatechpanama

The "undelayable" action of companies to mitigate the effects of climate change should be considered as the first priority, "not an option", because it is threatening the profitability of companies, agreed a group of experts convened in Panama.

The problem was discussed in the celebration of the V Sustainability Forum "Profitability of business in the face of climate change, impact, solutions and opportunities", held by the American Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Panama (AmCham).

The president of AmCham, Miguel Bolinaga, said that in addressing the risks created by climate change, "we feel we are contributing to the development of a more just, humane society, sensitive to issues that cannot be discussed tomorrow."

The expert Gerardo Herrera, general director of Marsh's advice for Latin America and the Caribbean, detailed a recent global report on risks caused by climate change, which measured the trends caused around biodiversity, the water crisis and "low perception that exists about digital risk."

He emphasized that the "risk of corruption has grown exponentially" in Latin America, according to the study conducted by Marsh in partnership with another global risk measurement center and higher education entities.

In this context, he recalled that the 13th study developed by Marsh stated that "the extreme climate appears as number one" in the concern for the productivity of companies and cited as an extreme example the ravages of hurricane María ten months ago on Puerto Rico, because before it was said that there were less than 100 deaths and today it is argued that they were more than 4,000.

"That only shows that you did not want to see" the situation "and that happened in the United States," he said ironically, while referring that in 2018 there is in Latin America "greater awareness of biodiversity" and its impact on daily life.

Another effect of climate change is "involuntary migration", added to "social instability". "It's a priority issue, not a future issue," he said.

He mentioned that everything has also been "complicated" with the expansion and diversification of the Internet in different platforms, which multiplies the cyber risk, and noted that the development of artificial intelligence should be on the agenda of all states so that "it does not create differences" between nations.

The experts Steve Tochilin, general manager of Environment and sustainability of Delta airlines; Leonardo Veintemilla, Sales Manager of Maersk Lines; and Álvaro Uribe, from the Directorate of Urban Planning of the Panama Metro, shared the actions they adopt in their daily work to mitigate the risk of climate change by seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This is due to the decrease in fuel consumption by the Maersk fleet, or Delta's better use of airplane fuel and the solution by doubling the mass transit capacity of the Panama metro.

The idea is to "eliminate the problems to accelerate world trade," suppressing the use of paper in paperwork, and thus contribute to preserving forests, for example, Tochilin explained.

The goal is to achieve by 2020 the reduction of 30 percent of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

Or what Delta does to reduce the 4,000 million gallons of fuel burnt a year by their 1,300 airplanes that work for that US company by voluntarily supporting the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) CORSIA program, which will start in 2022 be mandatory globally.

Uribe raises the point of Panama City that holds half of the four million inhabitants of the country, replicate the capacity of passenger transport with a network of eight metro lines, while it "reframes" the urbanization, at the moment "disconnected" because housing developments are walled.

All these realities impact the logistics development expected by a country, because this is based "on interconnection," Uribe said.


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