Geoerge Bush doesn’t want government involved in climate change. Best done by voluntary measures, he says. Volunteers anyone? Guess not:
Global warming ranks far down the concerns of the world’s biggest companies, despite world leaders’ hopes that they will pioneer solutions to the impending climate crisis, a startling survey will reveal this week.
Nearly nine in 10 of them do not rate it as a priority, says the study, which canvassed more than 500 big businesses in Britain, the US, Germany, Japan, India and China. Nearly twice as many see climate change as imposing costs on their business as those who believe it presents an opportunity to make money. And the report’s publishers believe that big business will concentrate even less on climate change as the world economy deteriorates. (The Independent)
He’ll get another chance to convince them this week in Hawaii, a meeting he called to paper over the fact the US refused in the recent Bali meetings to agree to reduce global carbon dioxide emissions. But businesses don’t want to do it voluntarily. They want to be told to do it so no one has a competitive advantage. Businesses also need a signal that indicates where to invest:
The European Corporate Leaders on Climate Change group, made up of the heads of major companies – which persuaded both Tony Blair and EU President José Manuel Barroso to make climate change a priority – has called for “a strong and clear policy framework” to enable cuts in emissions.
And the US Climate Action Partnership – which includes the heads of blue-chip companies such as General Electric, DuPont, and Alcoa – has urged Mr Bush to “establish a mandatory emissions pathway” leading to a reduction of up to 30 per cent in US emissions within 15 years.
Yesterday, Mark Kenber, policy director at the Climate Group, said: “These disappointing findings highlight the fact that carbon pricing mechanisms are not yet strong enough for businesses to incorporate climate change risks and opportunities into traditional business strategy”.
Bush has blocked any clear signals because he cares only about one business sector: petroleum. The implication of all this for the world’s people is clear and it is encoded in a single number: 358 days, 19 hours, 15 minutes and 55 seconds, the time left until George Bush leaves office as I hit these keys.