July 17-20, 2014, Hangzhou
Project Syndicate PDF, 14 Jul 2014: Containing the Resource Crisis, by A. Litovsky
China provides the setting for the 1st BMW Foundatoin Global Table. The gigantic scale of China’s economic growth is evident in everything from the size of its cities and infrastructure, to manufacturing, agriculture, energy production and demographics. These opportunities for growth and investment are tainted by resource security challenges, from the availability of safe freshwater to pollution and climate change.
In the years ahead, the "China way" of responding to these threats with large-scale shifts towards sustainability is likely to inspire the world. Weighing up the benefits and trade-offs resulting from these groundbreaking trends offers governments, companies, investors and communities a fresh opportunity to rethink the rules of global decision making and take the transition path towards securing the earth’s sustainability.
As a conference venue for the 1st Global Table, we have chosen a retreat in Hangzhou that complies with high international sustainability standards and thus sets a small example for using resources more mindfully.
To keep the environmental damage resulting from the Global Table to a minimum, the BMW Foundation offsets its carbon dioxide emissions. To this end, we support a project in Ghana where traditional cook stoves are replaced with more modern and energy-efficient stoves.
In the ensuing months, we also plan further Global Tables in Italy in October 2014, in Brazil in March 2015 and in June 2015 in Poland, alternating between emerging economies and European meeting places.
The BMW Foundation Global Table engages decision-makers from Europe, the United States, and the emerging powers in a strategic dialogue across sectors and generations. We want to raise awareness for the importance of shared leadership in addressing global challenges. By enabling a frank and diverse dialogue outside existing international frameworks, we provide a platform for stakeholders to identify mutual interests and thus areas of convergence.
The first cycle of the BMW Global Table focuses on the issue of "resource security." It features five Global Tables alternating between Europe and the new global powers and will conclude with the Berlin Global Forum in late 2015. We are organizing this cycle in close cooperation with the Earth Security Group (ESG), a London-based company with a strong profile in the field of resource security and international risk assessment.