Last November in Paris, the Sustainable Innovation Forum (SIF15) was held at Cop21 (Conference of Parties). Delegates from 43 countries attended the two day event for discussion and debate, including industry CEOs and many governments’ Ministers. Ricardo Guimarães, CEO of BMG bank, lauded the important goals of the conference, to get all countries to work together to reduce global Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions that are threatening the future of the planet. He sites the importance of finding ways to substitute non-renewable sources of energy, such as coal and crude oil, with ‘green’ sources, such as solar power, wind-generated power, and various bio fuels. Most important to Mr. Guimarães’ home country of Brazil is the reduction of destruction of the rain forest, which reduces the Earth’s capability to naturally reduce CO2 emissions.

Although the objectives outlined at the Cop21 conference will take some number of decades to enact, Mr. Guimarães points out the important groundwork of defining which rights and responsibilities must be borne by each country. Although highly developed countries, such as the USA are the original producers of large amounts of CO2 emissions, it is the larger developing countries, such as India and China that are producing the largest CO2 problems now.

The history and differences in CO2 emissions between different countries need to be discussed and decided upon diplomatically. Countries such as the USA are seen as owing a debt from former high CO2 output, whereas countries that are developing quickly now expect to be allowed a higher current CO2 output. The conference was one of many beginning steps to establish CO2 quotas. So far, there is not much agreement, so Mr. Guimarães says coming to an agreement is not going to be easy. Whenever CO2 reduction is actually achieved, the whole world will benefit. He states that it will be much easier to switch to renewable clean energy now than to work much harder in the future to attempt to reverse the detrimental effects of global warming.

Ricardo Guimarães is the grandson of BMG Bank’s original founder, Antônio Mourão Guimarães, who started the bank in 1930 in Brazil. He called it the Land Credit Bank. Today the bank has grown into a modern, technically adept, and quite profitable operation under the leadership of Ricardo Guimarães. As is his family’s tradition, Ricardo was required to start working in BMG at the very bottom rung, as a lowly office assistant. He worked his way up to become one of the best, most innovative bankers in South America.