BCG Chair Rich Lesser discusses climate with King Charles III and President Biden

28 July 2023 3 min. read

Often tasked with producing strategic advice for with world richest and most powerful people, consultants are no strangers to audiences with top officials of all shapes and sizes. Few meetings can compare to the experience of Boston Consulting Group’s Rich Lesser, though, after he sat with President Joe Biden and King Charles III at a roundtable at Windsor Castle.

Commenting via his personal LinkedIn profile, Lesser announced, “I had the privilege to be with President Biden and King Charles at Windsor Castle last week to represent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) at a roundtable on accelerating financing to tackle climate change, particularly in developing countries.”

Lesser, an American businessman who serves as the global chair of BCG, was one of 23 leading philanthropists, financiers and entrepreneurs selected to meet with the two heads of state, as they sought to catalyse finance to support emerging markets and developing countries in tackling the climate crisis. His firm has recently been seeking to enhance its climate credentials – even calling on green activists to apply for roles with the company.

BCG Chair Rich Lesser discusses climate with King Charles III and President Biden

Other attendees included The World Bank’s Private Sector Investment Lab, global investment manager Ninety One, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and private equity firm BlackRock. As part of the 23 firms in attendance, they will help identify at least $1 billion of initial project opportunities in emerging markets where investors and corporations can deliver on carbon neutrality and sustainability pledges via direct investment and supply chain participation.

As part of that work, strategy consulting giant BCG will continue to work toward its targets of investing in net zero campaigns around the world. The firm previously announced that it expects to invest $2 billion in the next decade to reach its Net Zero by 2030 commitment. The firm has also supported the initial set up of the Energy Transition Accelerator (ETA) design process ,andwhile important design issues remain to ensure high-quality credits and clear recognition of companies’ contributions, BCG is optimistic these issues can be successfully addressed, and in that case, expect to become a founding partner in the ETA community and encourage others to participate as well. 

Building strategies

Long before he inherited the throne, King Charles III has been known as a climate campaigner, and has been encouraging the governments of the UK to do more when it comes to addressing the global environment. As a result, the meeting of business leaders followed on from the Climate Finance Mobilisation Forum, which was convened by the UK Energy Secretary Grant Shapps and US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry – encouraged by the work of the King.

Reflecting on the roundtable event, Lesser added, “We had a wonderful group of philanthropists and business leaders, as well as Secretary Shapps from the UK, US Special Envoy John Kerry, and Dr Sultan al-Jaber the COP28 President, deeply engaged in ways to make faster progress. And I promise that I was happier than I looked in the left side of the photo with the President and the King!”

Many world leaders have been seeking audiences with leading consultants in recent years, as they look to encourage them to use their considerable influence in the battle against climate change. In 2022, for example, Deloitte became the first private company to be addressed by Pope Francis, who asked the firm’s representatives to help rescue a “planet [which continues] to suffer from the effects of climate change”.