17 June, 2007
Danish Mogens Peter Carl, the boss of the Commission’s Environment Directorate-General is said to be an excellent manager and a tough negotiator. But there are two things which he is certainly not as we were able to see during the closing session of Green Week.
First, he is not a good communicator. The way he presented his conclusions on Friday was so dull and monotone that most of the listeners in the audience nearly fell asleep. The fact that he also spoke for around 20 minutes, whereas the moderator had clearly said that all speakers would have ten minutes to make their case, added to the impression that the environment chief has all but given up on the chance of saving the environment.
Secondly and more important is that Mr Carl seems to know remarkably litte about nature.
When he was asked by some smartass in the audience, whether the EU should tackle “over-consumption”, the dull Dane came up with the following sublime metaphor: “Let me be very blunt. I will not try to roll back the waves”, implying that tackling “consumerism” is an impossible mission. This revelation came about ten minutes after he had mentioned that the upcoming EU communication of sustainable production and consumption will be something to look forward to.
Does Mr Carl not know that small waves can sometimes turn into big destructive tsunamis? Does the environment boss really believe the Chinese, Indians and all other citizens of the new economic tigers can have the same level of material lifestyle as we have here in the West without destroying the world’s last remaining natural capital? Well, in that case, dear Commission chief, you better start building your dykes!Author : Willy De Backer