Ricardo Guimarães knows something about the Brazilian way of life. He was born in Belo Horizonte, a city in the state of Minas Gerais. His grandfather opened one of the first banks in Minas Gerais in 1930 after making a fortune in the mining industry. Ricardo was trained to be a bank president, but he was also trained to be an effective entrepreneur that has interests in cattle, coffee and mining.
One of Ricardo’s first passions was soccer, and when he was in a position to put a marketing plan together for his bank, he incorporated soccer in that plan. Ricardo was the first bank president to be named president of a soccer club, and his bank, the BMG Bank, was the first bank to sponsor soccer teams successfully.
But Ricardo Guimarães is more than a banker, soccer executive, and entrepreneur in Brazil, he is also one of the people that Brazilians listen to about political and social issues. Ricardo is an influential voice in Brazil, and the government calls on him for opinions about issues that impact the effectiveness of policy makers.
The United Nations and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development conference developed a format where people like Guimarães could give the UN input on how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. The goal of the conference was to establish emission guidelines and to recommend penalties for countries that don’t follow those guidelines. There is a tax system in place for carbon dioxide emissions, but many countries don’t follow the rules. They underestimate the amount of CO2 they release into the atmosphere.
The challenge that the conference faced was to make all countries aware of the danger that exists by not reducing CO2 emissions. If the Earth warms by more than 2-degrees, countries will be faced with a financial catastrophe that will last for decades. Prosperous cities around the globe will be evacuated because of flooding, and the population relocation that results from that flooding will cost trillions of dollars.
The good news is developed countries are taking steps to reduce CO2 emissions. The United States, England, Germany and the Scandinavian countries have programs in place that will drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions. China and India need to do more to reduce emissions especially in overpopulated cities.