Robert F. Kennedy Jr. debates clean energy at Globe 2014

It was a packed room for environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and 35 year energy industry veteran Wal van Lierop as they debated clean energy, technology and alternative energy sources at the Globe 2014 conference in Vancouver this afternoon.

Both men are investors in clean technology and covered topics spanning clean capitalism to better business innovation. For Kennedy Jr., the son of late Senator Robert Kennedy and nephew of late President John F. Kennedy, one message was clear on how to move forward with clean energy and technology.

“We need a national marketplace that allows us to send energy back to the grid.”

And when looking at what key milestones need to be achieved by the end of the decade Kennedy Jr said there were two areas of focus. First, is to rewrite the regulatory rules in order to reward people for conserving energy and the second, which is the biggest factor, is constructing a national grid to encourage good behaviour as at it relates to personal and local business innovations.

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“We need to have a smart grid so when you plug in more than six Prius cars you don’t blackout the neighbourhood,” Kennedy Jr said.

WATCH: Global News sat down with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for a one-on-one interview

For van Lierop, who is the President and CEO of Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, he acknowledged that change is difficult but in order to have key milestones met by 2020, not only do “[we] all need to become leaders” but  we also need to have business leaders create a welcoming environment for new technology.

The venture capitalist went on to say that it’s necessary to have governments that will create a level playing field for energy resources and calls for greater collaboration between energy companies in Calgary and clean technology innovators in Vancouver.

“Oil and gas have the capital to solve some of the problems that government cannot,” van Lierop said to conference delegates.

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Global News live blogged the discussion which you can scroll through below.