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World Climate Summit: How on earth can the world accommodate 9 billion people?

The second day of the World Climate Summit started with a bang.

Peter Bakker, the president of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), took the floor to launch Action2020, an open platform to bring science and business together for the benefit of the environment.

The tagline of his presentation was 'Beyond Business as Usual', and for good reason.

Action2020 is intended as an initiative to accelerate Vision 2050, which sets a pathway towards a world in which nine billion people can live comfortably within the boundaries of planet earth. Professor Klaus Toepfer lamented that we might not be able to pull this off while speaking at last month's Samsung Memory Solutions Forum.

As Bakker put it, to business leaders 2050 seems a long way off, when the reality is starkly different. As things stand, today's environmental issues will escalate until they become daily problems for the next generations of human beings – our children and our children's children.

ITProPortal chatted with Dr Christoph Frei at the World Climate Summit, who told us that businesses - particularly technology firms - need to drastically buck their ideas up if the world is to combat climate change successfully.

Through Action2020, Bakker intends to quickly transform scientific research into a list of 'priorities', which be further condensed into 'must-haves' and eventually real business solutions capable of tackling climate change head-on.

Action2020 is essentially a 'platform for action'.

But Bakker knows all too well that it won't be plain sailing. He believes that environmental issues are just one part of a 'systemic crisis', which also includes problems stemming from the economic crisis, a lack of strong leadership from governments and constant social tension.

He is optimistic that Action2020 can make a difference, but was also keen to curb expectations. As he admitted to the room, "None of us has a plan that is watertight."