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Posted - 12/03/2015
Notes From the Field - Paris COP21
logo_E2.gifEnvironmental Entrepreneurs (E2) in Paris Update:
President Obama departs, negotiations begin and businesses continue to do their part
December 2, 2015

President Obama and other global leaders have left Paris after setting the stage for COP 21, leaving negotiators to get down to the nitty gritty of hammering out a global climate agreement.
As one U.S. official told me: "This is where the sausage making begins. Now through Saturday, there’s going to be a lot of people rolling up their sleeves and doing a lot of heavy diplomacy work." 

For his part, President Obama made it clear that any treaty that negotiators come up with should benefit both the environment AND the economy:  "We seek an agreement that gives businesses and investors the certainty that the global economy is on a firm path towards a low-carbon future, because that will spur the kind of investment that will be vital to combine reduced emissions with economic growth," Obama said in a press conference before leaving Paris. (See his full remarks here) (Video here)

"That’s the goal," he said. "Not just an agreement to roll back the pollution that threatens our planet, but an agreement that helps our economies grow and our people to thrive without condemning the next generation to a planet that is beyond its capacity to repair."
Businesses, meanwhile, continue to pledge to do their part to address climate change. More than 400 companies ranging from Coke to Unilever that belong to the Consumer Goods Forum just announced two major climate change initiatives in Paris.

Under one initiative, companies that belong to the Consumer Goods Forum pledged to work toward net zero deforestation by 2030 (think about all the paper and cardboard these companies use). Under another initiative, Forum member companies pledged to phase out hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants as of 2015 and replace them with non-HFC refrigerants (think about all those Coke vending machines). Read more about the Forum’s pledges here.

E2 members are in the news again today too.
Just before leaving for Paris to participate as part of E2’s delegation to COP 21, E2 member Zach Tucker penned this great opinion piece for the Kansas City Star about importance of businesses taking action and supporting a global climate agreement.

"Countries aren’t the only ones taking action," Zach pointed out in his piece. "Recently, more than 80 corporations — including Wal-Mart, Berkshire Hathaway, UPS and my company, ONE3LED — pledged to cut carbon pollution and support a strong outcome in Paris.
"Why? Because it’s good policy and it’s good business."
Zach and his brother Wes – two of the newest E2 Midwest chapter members - are among the dozen or so E2 members in Paris for COP 21. Read more about Zach in the member spotlight below.
Zach Tucker may be one of E2’s newest members – but he’s also quickly becoming one of its most active members.
A St. Louis, Mo.-area resident, Zach joined E2’s Midwest Chapter in June. Since then, he has been involved in E2 activities from coast to coast. Last month, he was one of more than 20 E2 members who participated in E2’s Washington, DC Forum. Two months ago, he flew to San Francisco and was part of a panel discussion with members from every region of the country at our E2@15 Anniversary celebration. He and several other E2 members were also recently invited to the White House as part of the American Business Act on Climate Pledge.

Zach Tucker (L) and Wes Tucker (R)

Now, Zach and his brother/business partner Wes are headed to Paris as part of the E2 delegation attending the COP 21 activities.

In his day job, Zach Tucker is co-founder vice president of One3LED, which has become Missouri’s leading LED lighting provider and has retrofitted commercial and industrial buildings all across the country. But Zach’s mission in life is about more than making money.

After witnessing the impressive energy savings LED lighting provided their clients, Zach and his team harnessed their passion for helping others to create a giving program that brought these same savings to low-income families and nonprofit organizations.

Today, Zach’s "Change The Bulb" program is working with St. Louis inner city families and Habitat for Humanity St. Louis by donating LED lighting fixtures free of charge. Change The Bulb has also recently completed projects in Haiti and Nicaragua.