Rachel Novick | December 6, 2019
Leo Burke ‘70, Emeritus Professor of Executive Education at Mendoza College of Business, was an eagerly anticipated guest speaker in this semester’s senior seminar for sustainability minors. Leo’s efforts over the last few years to address climate change resulted in what many would consider a miracle this past June: executives from most of the world’s publicly traded oil and gas companies along with major investment firms signed statements of support for carbon pricing and disclosures on climate change risk.
Leo spoke with the students by video conference from Rome, where he was meeting with Vatican officials who had hosted the June meeting and were discussing next steps in what is known as the “Energy Transition Dialogues”.
The vision for the Dialogues began at a conference Leo organized at Notre Dame in 2015 called Carbon Investing: Transition to a Low Carbon World. Participants focused on the problem of stranded assets and the difficulty of writing off known reserves given the inevitable impact on stock prices. “No one company can stick their neck out and make the first step,” explained Leo. “So they all need to be in the same room and reach a consensus.”
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