8 March, 2007
In war, countries always seem to find a leader who mixes vision with courage to mobilise populations to overcome even the worst disasters. So where is the next-generation leader able to take global leadership on the way to the new low-carbon economy?
It is surely not any one of the current European heads of state or government who are gathered in Brussels these days. Sorry Mr Blair, Monsieur Chirac or Frau Merkel but when the history books about the energy descent will be written, your names will be long forgotten.
So will the real leader stand up? Currently I see only three candidates, although all three might also fail if they can not break the mold of traditional 20th century politics:
- German environment minister Sigmar Gabriel, who wrote a fascinating and inspired “memorandum for a new deal for the economy, environment and employment”;
- British rising star and secretary of state for environment David Miliband, whose recent lecture at Cambridge University urged the EU to become the “Environmental Union” ; or
- David Cameron, the Conservative leader who “greened” in 6 months the whole political and media landscape in the UK.
All bets are open! Main prize: a footnote in the same post-fossil fuel history books.Author : Willy De Backer