Elon Musk On Climate: Tax Carbon Appropriately, Tesla Founder Says (Full Transcript, Video)

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The COP21 climate summit in Paris is now in its second week.

Presentations, conferences, trade shows, and probably thousands of individual meetings are being held among attendees from almost all the countries of the world.

Last week, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk spoke to a group of college students, laying out his vision for sustainability in transport and the steps required to stem climate change.

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Musk spoke at the Université de Paris Panthéon Sorbonne. His 16-minute speech, followed by almost 40 minutes of questions and answers, can be viewed in the video above.

The transcript below was provided by longtime plug-in activist Felix Kramer, who commissioned it as part of his work with the group Beyond Cassandra. (Bolded sentences are points Kramer feels are highlights.)

At almost 7,400 words and 13 pages, this is by far the longest article Green Car Reports has ever published.

But perhaps Musk's comments may provoke some thoughts on climate change, on how his companies position themselves to address new business opportunities presented by the continuing cost reductions in energy storage, and how the world of electrified devices may change over our lifetimes.

Green Car Reports respectfully reminds its readers that the scientific validity of climate change is not a topic for debate in our comments. We ask that any comments by climate-change denialists be flagged for moderation. Thank you in advance for helping us keep our comments civil, respectful, and fact-based.

Elon Musk speaks on Sustainability, Paris, 2 December 2015

Moderator: Thank you all for joining us, for coming here and also, to apologize to the others who couldn't join because we were fully booked very quickly actually when we launched the invitation. They can follow the livestream if they are not here and you can find the video tomorrow morning on YouTube so we are pretty well organized actually.

Actually, today is a very special day for our university. We are extremely proud and I'm particularly very proud to welcome tonight someone very special, someone who is probably one of the most influential person of the 20th and 21st centuries, someone who is definitely the most creative mind of his generation.

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He is the co-founder and CEO of a revolutionary car manufacturer challenging the mainstream car industry, but is also the founder and CEO of a tremendously innovative company, actually the first private company to launch and return a space craft from orbit. Last, but not least, also the chairman of the larger solar energy provider in the U.S.

Through his different activities, he's facing environmental, social and economic challenges. He deals with breathtaking projects on diverse issues like green mobility, clean and renewable sources of energy, space exploration, so on and so forth.

Photovoltaic solar power field at Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Photovoltaic solar power field at Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Enlarge Photo

By the way, among the latest news here, down here in France, in Europe, you probably heard that [02:00] yesterday was inaugurated a new solar farm in the Southern France, something which is definitely or actually the biggest over Europe now selling power at a cost well below the cost of power from the new generation of nuclear reactors and able to provide energy, power for more than 50,000 households.

Also and moreover, currently Paris is welcoming the UN Climate Change Conference, which faces the high stake of how to manage with the climatic disruption, the aim of the COP 21 is keeping warming below the 2 degrees Celsius compared with the pre-industrial era. for that, the objective of the COP is to build a Paris Climate Alliance, meaning a universal climate agreement committing everyone.

In that context, who better than Elon Musk for conversation with you? Please welcome Elon Musk.


 
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