Last update: 16:02 | 10/11/2017
Recently-elected Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern called climate change the greatest challenge facing this generation and the Asia Pacific region, as she opened the final day of APEC CEO Summit 2017 on Friday in Da Nang.
Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern called climate change the greatest challenge facing the Asia-Pacific region.
She said the region has the largest number of people vulnerable to climate change in the world.
“We are already seeing the terrible effects of climate change in our region,” Jacinda said.
She also highlighted Việt Nam’s recent floods as evidence that climate change is real and around us.
“Here in Việt Nam, in the last two years, I understand that you have suffered terrible floods and drought. Even in recent days, saltwater intrusion is causing both a loss of life and damage to the economy,” she said.
According to the Prime Minister, glaciers in New Zealand have lost nearly a quarter of ice since 1977, and last year was the warmest year on record in the country.
Jacinda said New Zealand is deeply concerned not just about what is happening to the economy, but also to the planet.
“We are concerned about the state of our environment and how we use our natural resources. During our recent election, this was a source of concern that was shared with me frequently,” she said.
“No matter how small we are, we have a role to play, as we all do,” she said.
Besides Jacinda, there were other speakers in the morning session who spoke on the role of governments and businesses in promoting resources and efficiency and sustainable economic growth.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese “milk lady” Thai Huong, president of TH True Milk, highlighted the food security issue as a solution to tackle resource inefficiency, with 800 millions of people suffering from poverty.
“My company always puts the environment first while doing business,” she said.
She said organic plantation and land use method are applied at TH True Milk’s plants to use the resource most effectively.
“I want to share that science and technology can help promote the products’ quality, however, humans are most important in managing sustainable economic growth,” Huong said.
TH True Milk, Viet Nam’s one of the largest private dairy groups, has invested in a US$1-billion dairy in a Moscow suburb in Russia.
Hương explained her decision to invest in Russia, saying its economy has a favourable policy for foreign investors.
Meanwhile, Rober S. Franklin, president of ExxonMobil Gas and Power, said the world needs to find solutions for new energy resources and make them available to the population.
“On this planet, which has a billion people that have no access to electricity, that is a big challenge,” Rober said.
He also said providing energy in a way that is affordable for consumers is also a challenge.
“Having theoretical resources that are not affordable for consumers has negatively affected economies around the world,” he said.
“And I think it is the role of government to implement policies that ensure a fair and non-discriminatory economy,” he said.
The Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Growth section was followed by another one entitled building connection and community in a technology-enabled world with Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull and Facebook’s Chief Operation Officer, Sheryl Sandberg acting as panelists.
Another section on Friday morning focused on APEC’s Post-2020 vision had the hosts of APEC 2018 and 2020, Peter O’Neill - Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea and Najib Razak - Prime Minister of Malaysia on the state.
The summit’s afternoon session heard keynote speeches from the US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. -- VNS