Sydney, Australia – Philips Senior Director of Energy & Climate Change, Head of Strategic Sustainability Initiatives, Harry Verhaar, will join world-renowned keynote speakers at the 2011 Asia Pacific Cities Summit (APCS) being hosted by Brisbane in July, Lord Mayor Cr Graham Quirk today announced.
Cr Quirk said he was delighted to announce Mr Verhaar, a highly regarded international figure in the climate change effort, as the third international keynote speaker.
“As a thought leader in the area of sustainability and climate change throughout the world, I welcome Mr Verhaar as the third keynote speaker at the 2011 Asia Pacific Cities Summit,” Cr Quirk said.
“Mr Verhaar will address the implications of city infrastructure choices on climate change and how pursuing environmental benefits also makes cities more liveable by revitalising public spaces, and creating notable health benefits.”
Mr Verhaar’s announcement now complements former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani and founder of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson as the third international keynote speaker at the 2011 APCS.
“We now have a keynote speaker who is a global identity with exceptional entrepreneurial expertise, one with vast experience in government and leadership, especially in leading during times of crisis, and now, a forward-looking business leader who can talk about urban sustainability and the benefits of economical, ecological and social development,” Cr Quirk said.
“Mr Verhaar is renowned for being an active member of many climate change groups including The Climate Group, World Green Building Council and several UN organisations, and he was most recently part of the UN’s COP16 Climate Change Conference in Cancun and previously Copenhagen in 2009,” Cr Quirk said.
Mr Verhaar welcomed the opportunity to be part of the international forum.
“The 2011 Asia Pacific Cities Summit, to be held in Brisbane, is a wonderful opportunity for leaders and delegates from across the region to interact and learn from each other,” Mr Verhaar said.
“As Philips Senior Director of Energy and Climate Change, I hope to give examples of regional and local authorities taking a leadership role in driving change from the ground up,” he said.
Councillor Quirk echoed this sentiment and said he was keen to use the Summit as an opportunity to showcase that Brisbane is fast becoming a leading green city and to demonstrate Brisbane’s place as Australia’s new world city.
The biennial APCS is an integral part of Brisbane City Council’s economic development agenda to generate international networks and drive business opportunities for Brisbane businesses throughout the Asia Pacific and beyond.
The APCS, an initiative of Brisbane City Council, supported by the Queensland Government as principal partner, with platinum sponsors ANZ and IBM, will take place at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre between 6 and 8 July 2011.
This year’s Summit is themed “The Business of Cities”, and will focus on three streams; the business of green cities, the business of growing cities, and the business of smart and connected cities.