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Business to world leaders: Stop waffling and rise to the challenge in Copenhagen

Posting in Environment

Things aren't looking so great for a meaningful climate treaty in Copenhagen, and some businesses are pretty miffed about it.

From what I can tell, not a few companies are a tad upset about political developments over the past week that suggest major world leaders are basically ready to renege on their promise to work toward halving global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

I mean, here they are (at least some businesses) busting their own business models to figure out how to live up to the industrial end of the bargain while the politicians are defaulting to be political all over again heading into COP-15, the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen from Dec. 7 to Dec. 18.

Can you tell how I feel about this? Read this article and tell me you don't see the writing on the wall?

In any event, I understand that the corporate lobby that has rallied for years in the United States against taking meaningful action on the climate is pretty powerful but I sense that the lobby on the other side of the argument is getting stronger by the day. Two points of evidence, although I'm ready to share more when I find it:

  • Senior sustainability officer at SAP, Siemens and Coke are lining up behind the "Hopenhagen" campaign, which hopes to pressure (yes, pressure) world leaders to come up with something substantial at the meeting. Here's the Web site for Hopenhagen, as well as SustainLane, which is supporting the Hopenhagen petition at the local level.
  • Footwear and outdoor gear company Timberland, which has cut its direct corporate carbon emissions by 27 percent since 2006, has likewise started a campaign called "Don't Tell Us It Can't Be Done." It's another way to keep track of who cares (and, come to think of it, to build a great new marketing database of potential consumers who care about environmental issues).

What is your business doing to make real progress in Copenhagen a reality? Email me here.

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure