Squeaky clean technology

Last week, the Campbell administration announced who would be sitting on its climate action team - including chair Cheryl Slusarchuk. According to the news release accompanying that announcement, Ms. Slusarchuk "is the president of the Premier's Technology Council" and a prominent member of British Columbia's "business and technology community" - have been recognized by the 2006 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a leading lawyer in the area of computer law. Ms. Slusarchuk is a partner with McCarthy Tetrault and heads the technology practice in B.C. But, in a curious ommission, that release doesn't mention she's also acted for "clean technology companies on a broad range of corporate and commercial matters" as a partner with McCarthy Tetrault. Indeed, Ms. Slusarchuk has written about the growth in that sector on at least two occasions.

In the April-June 2007 edition of McCarthy Tetrault Co-Counsel: Technology Law Quarterly, she states, "It's difficult to underestimate the impact and potential of clean tech. Venture capitalists are increasingly investing in this area, which is significant because these investments are leading indicators of future economic growth."

In fact, "Current data indicates that clean tech is emerging as a defined investment category at twice the pace of biotech's rise in the 1980s and early 1990s. With the combination of rising energy costs, overall natural resource scarcity, growing demand for environmentally superior products and greatly improved clean tech alternatives, clean tech may capture up to 10 per cent of overall venture capital flows by 2009. It may also capture an increasingly large portion of both M&A and IPO activity."

But other companies will also be able to take advantage of the opporunities created by global warming. In a separate article, Ms. Slusarchuk acknowledges "business leaders across industries" may intitially be "challenged by new laws and public demands related to climate change, sustainability and clean technology, but ultimately, these changes present a tremendous opportunity to 'do good business,' which includes making money."

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