Bold leadership is needed on the path to a more equitable and sustainable economy

South Africa is a country that is disproportionally affected by the consequences of global warming. Our coast has been identified as one of the regions in the world at highest risk of flooding and studies estimate that wildfires burn approximately 3 million hectares per year.

“Longer dry spells and rising temperatures would only increase that risk,” warns Mario Molina, International Director of The Climate Reality Project. Molina is one of a powerful line-up of internationally recognised climate change and sustainability leaders set to address the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) Convention in Johannesburg this July.

An advocate for bold green leadership globally, Molina has worked extensively developing public-private partnerships for Climate Reality, briefed business and government officials on climate and energy policy, and on the critical role of finance in accelerating a clean energy transition. 

Molina spearheads former US Vice President and Climate Reality Chairman Al Gore’s international policy, advocacy, and communications programme strategies, leveraging cross-sector partnerships to advance implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions to the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) agreement to take collective action to limit average global warming to under 2 degrees centigrade.

Before joining Climate Reality, Molina was responsible for the design, operation and management of the Alliance for Climate Education, working in nearly 30 cities across the US in the development of climate science curricula and energy efficiency projects. Prior to his work in the US, he developed several sustainability and conservation programmes in Australia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Peru.

Molina and climate scientists are unanimous in their findings: this is the decade to take decisive action to prevent catastrophic global warming. He notes that while the trends are encouraging, the approximately 400 billion USD invested in low-carbon development in 2014 represents less than half of what will be required to meet the Paris commitment. However, he is optimistic that by leapfrogging fossil-fuel technologies and mobilising capital investment in renewables, emerging economies can achieve both mitigation and development goals.

Build a better world NOW’ is the theme of the ninth Green Building Convention, sponsored by Nedbank Corporate and Investment Bank, to be held from 26 to 28 July 2016, at Sandton Convention Centre. It is designed to inspire today’s and tomorrow’s leaders in the built environment and aims to stimulate awareness, ambition and action to design, build and operate better buildings. Book before 30 June for a 15% discount off the full ticket price.

For more information on the Green Building Convention 2016 or to register, go to www.greenbuildingconvention.org.za