On Tuesday 6 February 2024, the Alphonse Weicker Foundation hosted Professor Jean Tirole, 2014 Nobel Prize winner in economics, at the premises of BGL BNP Paribas for a conference entitled “How to act in the face of climate change”.
Since its creation in 1989, the BGL BNP Paribas founded Alphonse Weicker Foundation has supported projects in different areas aimed at contributing to the economic and social development of Luxembourg and the Greater Region.
In 2023, the Foundation's Board of Directors updated its purpose to focus its efforts more particularly on the promotion of a more sustainable and more inclusive society, in particular through the support of initiatives in the areas of ecological transition, social inclusion, digitalisation and social entrepreneurship. The theme of the conference was in line with these priorities, BGL BNP Paribas noted.
Professor Jean Tirole began his presentation by recalling the absolute urgency to act. In the first part of his talk, he covered a wide range of topics around climate change, discussing the need for a carbon price and a global approach, the importance of research and development subsidies, the role of standards and bans, the issues around electricity as well as geopolitical issues. He also debunked several false “good ideas”.
He then broadened the debate with remarks on social responsibility and environmental, social and governance criteria. He discussed some key challenges such as the collection of quality data, credibility and monitoring of commitments, but also the responsibilities of governments, concluding that chasing false ideas and bad policies is part of our social responsibility.
Yves Nosbusch, President of the Alphonse Weicker Foundation and Member of the Executive Committee of BGL BNP Paribas, commented: “It is a great honour to be able to welcome Professor Jean Tirole to share with our guests his convictions on the crucial question of ‘how to act in the face of climate change’. Faced with the magnitude of the challenge before us, we can feel helpless. However, the solutions largely already exist. The biggest difficulty is to collectively set the right priorities. Since the time and means to act are not unlimited, our collective efforts must be directed towards the actions that have the most impact.”
Béatrice Belorgey, President of the Executive Committee of BGL BNP Paribas and Head of BNP Paribas Group entities in Luxembourg, declared: “Founded in 1989, the Alphonse Weicker Foundation has, since its beginnings, supported scientific research. More recently, its Board of Directors has, still in the same spirit, updated its purpose to focus its efforts more particularly on the promotion of a more sustainable and more inclusive society, in particular through the support of initiatives in the areas ecological transition, social inclusion, digitalisation and social entrepreneurship. It is in this context that this conference takes place.”