Government, Academia, Civil Society and the Private Sector Unite to Urge Climate Action in Monterrey
By: Marcela Villada- August 5th, 2022
The first edition of the Monterrey Climate Innovation Summit was held on July 14th and 15th in Monterrey, Mexico with the goal of proposing tangible solutions and pushing climate action. This multi-stakeholder meeting offered a platform to foster discussions around climate change with a special emphasis on Monterey and the state of Nuevo Leon, in a momentous time for the city as it faces severe water shortages and one of the hottest summers on record. The summit highlighted good practices that have been implemented to combat climate change and created a space that united leaders in the public, private, academia, and nonprofit sectors working towards a sustainable future. From its discussions emerged a revived interest in collaboration and innovation to mitigate climate change through radically new business models, with close support from the city’s vibrant university and research ecosystem.
“At the PVBLIC Foundation we aim to build partnerships that highlight the actions and initiatives developed by leaders in the region in favor of people and planet. That is why spaces like the Monterrey Climate Innovation Summit are key to unite leaders from across sectors and help advance the 2030 agenda,” - Stephen Keppel, President of the PVBLIC Foundation.
During the two days, the event brought together more than 300 attendees to discuss and propose real alternatives to combat the current environmental crisis. Undergraduate and graduate students, impact entrepreneurs, business leaders and members of the local community had the opportunity to learn from and interact with some of the country’s leading minds in sustainability and innovation. Over 40 speakers led the audience through 8 diverse panels and more than 10 individual sessions and workshops, addressing the challenges of climate justice in Mexican cities, the role of women in the innovation for climate action, the role of news and the media in our attitude towards climate change and many more crucial topics for urban sustainability. The summit also had 11 booths highlighting young entrepreneurs who are working for the betterment of our planet through innovative, sustainable alternatives for skincare, hygiene products, composting, and much more.
“It is a great pleasure to be part of actions that help make a difference in the problems we face today as a society, not only in the state of Nuevo Leon, but at the national and global level,” - Sergio Londoño VP Public Affairs Communications & Sustainability at the Coca Cola Company.
The climate crisis that the planet has been experiencing has had devastating effects on the environment and on people's quality of life. In recent decades, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas. Burning fossil fuels generates greenhouse gas emissions that act like a blanket wrapped around the Earth, trapping the sun’s heat and raising temperatures.
“I believe in the work they are doing, in the things they will learn, and in the connections they will make at the Climate Innovation Summit. This [climate change] is not just a problem for the United States or Mexico, it is a problem for everyone, everywhere, and if we want to address it, we have to do it together,” - José Fernández, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, U.S. Department of State, in prepared remarks.
The Summit featured experts like Professor Cristina Cortinas, one of Mexico’s leading researchers and policy advisors on waste management and the Circular Economy; Professor Perla Martínez, leader of the local ecosystem of climate action initiatives and a top professor and researcher at the Tec de Monterrey; and Monterrey’s Secretary of Sustainable Urban Development, Laura Ballesteros, whose office is leading the Green Accord for Monterrey, an initiative that will reflect many of the innovative approaches presented at the Summit.
Enrique Acevedo, Correspondent for CBS News, was also a featured speaker, discussing misinformation, polarization, and the media's role in our attitude towards climate change. This space allowed us to see leadership from different sectors encourage new generations to leave a low carbon footprint and work together to stop the climate crisis through innovation, science and technology.
“A sustainable strategy is more expensive than a conventional business strategy, we need to develop methodologies and mechanisms, so that sustainability becomes business,” - Carlos Scheel, Professor of Sustainability and Technological Innovation, EGADE.
The Monterrey Climate Innovation Summit was possible thanks to the collaboration between PVBLIC Foundation, the Government of Monterrey, the industria Mexicana de Coca Cola, Arca Continental the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, who came together to open the doors to conversations on circular economy, finance for sustainability, sustainable mobility, water security, among others.
“The challenges we face in Latin American cities to mitigate the effects of climate change and change the course of our economies are colossal. That is why we at PVBLIC are convinced that we need to mobilize actors on all fronts to achieve this. Academia, entrepreneurs, big companies, governments and citizens must unite to take action for the planet and that is what we saw at this Summit,” - Jesus Tabares, Program Officer Latin America at PVBLIC Foundation.
This is just the beginning of the different conversations, discussions and reflections that PVBLIC will be bringing to different countries in Latin America.
Together we will continue to take action for the planet.
Watch the best moments of the summit here.