UNEP B4E party’s over … Did Chatham House rule?

As I wrote yesterday (well I began writing yesterday and posted early today) the UNEP’s “Business for the Environment” (aka B4E) “8th annual B4E Global Summit” was scheduled to take place in Delhi, April 15-16.

Just in case you’ve forgotten, the theme was “EMERGING MARKET LEADERSHIP FOR GLOBAL GREEN GROWTH”.

So I was hoping that by now I’d be able to update you on the visions of “innovative”, “inclusive” whatevers that might have danced through the participants’ heads. And I know you’ll be as disappointed as I am to realize that it is now approx. 3:30 a.m. April 17 in Delhi, and – as far as I’ve been able to determine from the B4E website – radio silence seems to have descended approx. 18 hours ago, the time of their last tweet:

B4ESummit #B4E Day 2 – Insightful discussion panels on innovative #BizPractices, emerging markets’ #GreenGrowth, #CleanEnergy

I did, however, find the “draft” Agenda (which did not indicate whether or not any changes might have been made since its [undated] appearance).

According to this Agenda, the “facilitator” was a Charles Emmerson, “Independent Advisor and Senior Fellow, Chatham House”.

Emmerson was scheduled to be the Moderator of a Day 2 Session:

Report and proposals from Day One working group Chairs and dialogue on outcomes
Solutions for inclusive, green and sustainable urban development

He was also scheduled along with:

Ranjit Barthakur, Secretary-General / Chairman, Club of Rome India / Globally Managed Services (GMS)

to deliver “Closing Remarks”.

In case you were wondering, here’s some background on Chatham House:

Chatham House Rule

The Chatham House Rule originated at Chatham House with the aim of providing anonymity to speakers and to encourage openness and the sharing of information. It is now used throughout the world as an aid to free discussion. Meetings do not have to take place at Chatham House, or be organized by Chatham House, to be held under the Rule.

Meetings, events and discussions held at Chatham House are normally conducted ‘on the record’ with the Rule occasionally invoked at the speaker’s request. In cases where the Rule is not considered sufficiently strict, an event may be held ‘off the record’.

But the bottom-line “spirit” of the Rule, according to their FAQ, is:

Q. Can participants in a meeting be named as long as what is said is not attributed?

A. It is important to think about the spirit of the Rule. For example, sometimes speakers need to be named when publicizing the meeting. The Rule is more about the dissemination of the information after the event – nothing should be done to identify, either explicitly or implicitly, who said what.

Emmerson is evidently one of their “Experts” whose Expertise lies in:

  • Global risk, foresight and strategy
  • Security, geopolitics, natural resources and climate
  • Arctic geopolitics and geo-economics
  • Soft power and foreign policy
  • Global governance

Oh, my … there they go again, talking about “global governance”. I wonder if this has been any better defined than TEEB’s “green economy”. And I also wonder why the UNEP’s media machine – always very quick to spin a UNEP sponsored meeting into the greatest thing since sliced bread – seems to be maintaining radio silence on the outcome of this “global summit”.

3 thoughts on “UNEP B4E party’s over … Did Chatham House rule?

  1. They’re a busy bunch, aren’t they, at B4E (I wonder how many air miles these people collectively rack up, each year.) The B4E agenda page is now showing details of their upcoming event (also facilitated by Charles Emmerson) in London next month (“Net Zero. Climate Positive”), with some very familiar names, including WWF’s Jim Leape and former FoE director Tom Burke.

    B4E have a media page and also their own YouTube channel, but material seems to be a little thin on the ground, given the number of discussions going on during each event (the video page, for example, shows nothing from 2012, although YouTube has a few items.)

    No doubt, though, their plans for the world will filter down to the rest of us in time – my guess is that “learn to make do with less” might be a useful summary for the masses!

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