Kennedy to attend climate conference in Norway

Publish date: December 17, 2008

PRESS RELEASE: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will be one of the speakers at the CC9 international climate conference in June 2009, organised by the Club of Madrid, the Bellona Foundation and Hafslund ASA.

The conference is the following of last summer’s CC8, and just like that event CC9 (Climate Conference 09) is an international climate conference with participants from the top echelons of politics, industry and organisations.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will be one of the prestigious speakers to participate in the conference.

“We are very happy that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has accepted our invitation. He is an important advocate for environmental issues in the Democratic Party, and he will certainly have a strong influence on American environment policy in the future,” says Frederic Hauge, President of the Bellona Foundation.

The conference will take place on 4 and 5 June at Hafslund Manor in Sarpsborg, Norway. It will be followed by a climate festival for children in the adjacent park on 6 June.

A green hero

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has made a name for himself as a clear-headed and dynamic advocate for the environment. His name has also recently been mentioned in connection with the selection of president-elect Barack Obama’s team.

Kennedy founded and now chairs the Waterkeeper Alliance, an organisation working to improve water quality in the US and elsewhere in the world. His work to save the Hudson River led to the establishment of more than 160 Waterkeeper organisations and to him being named one of the “Heroes for the Planet” by TIME Magazine in 1999.

In his work as a lawyer, Kennedy handles cases for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), one of the largest environmental organisations in the US. The NRDC is known as a solution-oriented and competent player in the environmental field.

Kennedy is a professor at Pace University School of Law. He is the son of Robert F. Kennedy, one of the closest advisors to his uncle, late US president John F. Kennedy.

Dialogue and technology transfer

CC9 wants to build on the work done at CC8. The objective of the conference is to gather important players for a dialogue in connection with the climate negotiations and to facilitate progress towards a new international climate agreement within the framework of the United Nations’ system.

A lack of urgent and concerted action could have serious consequences on life in all countries, cause damage to fragile ecosystems and threaten global security by causing migratory pressures and resources conflicts to increase.

“We want to help create platforms to facilitate dialogue in the run-up to the Copenhagen Climate Summit. The conference aims to highlight what wealthy countries must do to help poorer countries implement important climate measures since one of the key questions in the international climate debate at the moment is how to secure a transfer of technology from wealthy countries to poorer ones, and the financial implications that this transfer entails,” says Frederic Hauge.

Positive experiences

Last year’s international Climate Conference 08 (CC8) resulted in a final memorandum which called on politicians of the world to cut developed nations’ greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. The conference attracted plenty of publicity, both in Norway and internationally, and this target has been increasingly echoed internationally over the last year.

During the climate negotiations in Bali and Poznan the importance of technology transfer was reiterated by all countries and highlighted as key to combating climate change.

Ricardo Lagos, former president of Chile, President of the Club of Madrid and UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, has stated that “it is important to all countries that clean energy technologies are made as widely available as possible. It may be beneficial to conduct research and demonstrate technologies in the South.”

The business world needs to contribute

The power company Hafslund will host the event at Hafslund Manor and will also act as co-organiser of the conference. The company believes it is essential that industry and business players participate actively with initiatives and suggestions for solutions as we enter this important stage of climate negotiations.

“At Hafslund we have chosen to work to ensure that the important technology aspect becomes a core issue in the climate negotiations. Unless we succeed in securing a transfer of technology to poorer countries it will be very difficult for climate work to progress,” says Christian Berg, President and CEO of the Hafslund Group.

Participants at CC8

Among the participants at CC8 were: Nicholas Stern, former Chief Economist at the World Bank and responsible for the Stern Review, Ricardo Lagos, former president of Chile, President of the Club of Madrid and UN Special Envoy on Climate Change and former Norwegian prime minister and UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, Gro Harlem Brundtland.

The co-organisers of the climate conference:

The Club of Madrid is an independent organisation dedicated to strengthening democracy around the world by drawing on the unique experience and resources of its members – 70 democratic former heads of state and government.

The Bellona Foundation was founded in 1986 as a direct-action pressure group and has gone on to become a recognised technology- and solutions-oriented organisation with offices in Oslo, Murmansk, St. Petersburg, Brussels and Washington D.C.

Hafslund ASA is Norway’s largest distribution grid owner, electricity distributer and a major producer of renewable energy.

Read more about the conference at
The site also includes an archive containing information on last year’s conference.

For further information, please contact:

Head of Information for Bellona, Anne Karin Sæther / +47 90 20 55 20

Senior Vice President of Communications for Hafslund, Karen Onsager / +47 92 08 70 07

Program Assistant for the “Global Leadership for Climate Action Initiative”, Club of Madrid, Luciana Silvestri / +34 911548249

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