Nicholas Parker of Cleantech Group Delivers Opening Keynote

Early in the day on June 2, we heard from opening keynote Nicholas Parker.  Here is a post about his inspiring and informative talk:

Nicholas Parker, of Cleantech Group LLC, said there are in excess of 70 jurisdictions globally that say they want to succeed in the new green economy, but there are many barriers to turn visions into realities.

“We’re all green now, but I’m not sure we’ve all fully appreciated how big this challenge is,” said Parker, the Summit’s opening keynote speaker.

During his speech, entitled “Cleantech in an Obama World,” Parker touched on many of these challenges, including the fact that humans are wasteful and are in the midst of a global warming crisis.

“Increasingly, we’re moving into a world of adaptation, whether we like it or not,” Parker said.

The cost is high to move to more sustainable energies.  Parker said a bare minimum of $200 billion a year worldwide will be required to move the globe into a low-carbon economy.  So far, he said about $60 billion has been allocated for green and clean industry from the recent U.S. stimulus package; worldwide, he said that cleantech investment figure is $400 billion.

Parker said the Obama administration has been “a breath of fresh air” for cleantech investment, but he’s concerned how much the federal stimulus will ultimately cost.  He illustrated his point by comparing the cost of job creation: a new job created with federal funding costs $235,000 per job, he said; by contrast, venture capital funding can create employment for $37,000 per job.

Parker said there are many areas for growth in cleantech, including waste minimization, renewable energy and efforts to reduce the chemical pollution that humans intake everyday.

The Cleantech CEO also shared a litany of clean economy “checklist” items that entrepreneurs and others should consider.  Among those are finding long-term price signals, using global branding and working with China.

Want to learn more?  Find out about the Cleantech Group at