The financial firestorm that hit the world over a year ago
will leave one positive outcome in its wake, with experts predicting that it may
pave the way to a more sustainable future for the world, according to an
international survey commissioned by global technology powerhouse Siemens.
In findings released by Siemens during the APEC CEO Summit in Singapore
today, more than half of the 270 leading practitioners polled said the economic
crisis may stimulate progress towards sustainable development, with 86%
anticipating an increased investment in green technologies. Three-quarters also
pointed out that the crisis will lead to new paradigms of managing both the
environment and the economy.
The survey conducted by global research firm GlobeScan
Incorporated is of particular relevance to this year’s APEC CEO Summit as it
examines the policy issues surrounding sustainability in the context of the
global economic crisis, one of the central themes of this year’s event.
Three-quarters of survey participants reside in APEC economies, and interviewees
included experts from the government, private sector, academia and non-profit
Other possible upshots of the economic crisis, according to
interviewees, include the adoption of more environmentally sustainable
lifestyles, the start of better cooperation among national governments to create
binding international agreements, and an impetus for governments to reform
fiscal policies to recognize environmental impacts.
When asked for their ideas for fixing the world’s economy, 22% of the experts
suggested solutions that centred on new approaches to development, including
sustainable development and the “triple bottom line”, which takes into account
ecological, social and financial performance. Respondents also recommended
overhauling energy systems, including switching to renewable and low-carbon sources
and improving energy efficiency, while some called for better regulation of the
financial markets and banks.
“The concept of sustainability is not a zero sum game. Everyone stands to gain if
we work towards generating long-term value in every area of our society,” said Mr
Peter Löscher, President and CEO of Siemens AG.
“The global financial crisis has presented us with huge challenges but it has also
brought along vast opportunities for us to set things right. For example, it will
allow us to create an economic system with a healthy balance between finance and
services and a viable industrial base. It will give us the chance to build
sustainable economies that engender prosperity and protect resources with
leading-edge and environmentally viable technologies. We can also bring hope and
prosperity to people in developing countries based on a powerful industrial base,
innovative strength and fair global trade.”