James Cameron on nature, climate, and business

James Cameron Speaking By Lectern With Moderator Emily Buckley Seated Facing Theatre Style Audience

Green Templeton welcomed climate change advocate, independent adviser and social entrepreneur James Cameron for a freewheeling conversation chaired by Sustainability, Enterprise and Environment MSc student Emily Buckley on Wednesday 12 June.

With examples drawn from his experiences as co-founder of the asset management and advisory group Climate Change Capital, and his legal work with the Coalition of Small Island States, discussion focused on James’s phrase ‘creating wealth worth having’, and especially on the importance of opening up our understanding of ‘wealth’ to include more than simple financial return.

Exchanges between Emily and James also addressed differences between the generations, suggesting that while younger people are more likely to be sceptical about the possibility of business and enterprise to address climate change and other problems, they may be more optimistic about technological solutions.

James emphasised the importance of open-minded communication between different generations and groups, and described his own outlook as ‘possibilist’ – relatively confident about the ongoing global energy transition, while acknowledging other issues as urgent and more intractable; recognising that the scale, complexity and lack of accountability of the corporate world has resulted in widespread anger and distrust, while maintaining his faith in the transformative potential of capitalism.

He concluded with a call for more investment in enterprises in the developing world, and for financial systems which reward socially and environmentally responsible ventures.


The conversation was followed by a small college dinner at which Green Templeton business, finance, medicine and law students joined James and other guests to continue the discussion. The event was instigated and generously supported by members of the Principal’s Circle.

Created: 20 June 2024