Mary Ritter: «Addressing climate change is good for the economy»
Former CEO and one of the promoters of the Climate-KIC European initiative
Mary Ritter is Professor Emerita of Immunology at Imperial College London. She is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Climate-KIC European initiative (Knowledge, Innovation, Community), who has recently opened a site in Valencia, within the Botanical Garden of the University of Valencia.
Which kind of parallelism can we find between Immunology research and developing green technologies against climate change?
If we consider that the planet is becoming sick because of man-made emissions, what are the first recommendations of Climate-Knowledge Innovation Community to get the recovery?
In entrepreneurship an innovative prescription to resolve an environmental problem?
From Imperial College London, how did you get to be the Climate-KIC CEO?
Your personality and your background in Immunology have an influence in the first steps of Climate-KIC. How?
And has Climate-KIC affected your vision?
What are the main goals you are proud of during your four-year trip with this European initiative?
And the big success of the Accelerator [a Climate-KIC-driven programme promoting clean-energy trade]?
«Climate change has such a wide-ranging impact that it embraces a very broad range of disciplines. Almost everything is relevant, and immunology is no exception»
«Business can certainly be a friend of the environment. It is crucial that that what we do makes good business sense, so that the world can afford to make the necessary changes»
«I have for a long time been very conscious of the impact of mankind on the environment, but my experience in Climate-KIC has certainly sharpened my vision »
Give us some keys to achieve a low-carbon economy…
May entrepreneurship be the new challenge for public universities?
Climate-KIC is the only EIT besides the national centres that has six regional implementation communities across Europe. Why? And what is their mission?
One of these regional centres is located in Valencia. What are its main goals?
The University of Valencia is now coordinating the education pillar for Climate-KIC. It is one of the three priorities, together with innovation and entrepreneurship.
Next December Paris will host the COP21 conference (Conference of Parties) of climate change. You said in Valencia that it will be «a real test of the world’s resolve to genuinely and effectively address climate change, moving beyond the setting of targets to taking effective action». In your opinion, how has Climate-KIC paved the way to Paris?
Maria Josep Picó. Journalist. Chair for Scientific Dissemination of the University of Valencia.
«You need to have the support of government, business and citizens to achieve a low-carbon economy»
«I remember my first visit to Valencia. I was deeply impressed by the commitment and work being undertaken to combat climate chang»
«What is important is that we develop a thriving and sustainable green economy with new green business, economic growth and job creation»