3E Intelligence

Business leaders attending this week’s European Business Summit 2008 would do well to listen to their colleague Richard Branson of Virgin Group in order to understand the urgency of finding solutions for our climate/energy crisis.

During a press conference last week, Branson called for the creation of a global “war room” to coordinate actions to deal with global warming. “We have a crisis that is bigger than World War I and II combined”, said the Virgin CEO. Branson envisions a quasi-independent office (linked to the UN)  that would promote climate change best practices and mediate between countries.

That being said and as much as I agree with Branson’s comparison of the war-like challenge of climate change, I wonder whether another global “talk shop” of overpaid bureaucrats is the best solution to our predicament. Maybe we could start by giving all the sustainable development councils or advisory bodies at national level a bit more power or even promote them so that their recommendations become as influential on governmental policies than the policies and actions defined by the finance or economy ministers now? And maybe another good idea would be to mobilise citizens by telling them honestly that they are in for some war-like sacrifices and that the time of abundance is coming to an end. Now that would be a sign of true political leadership if our governments would have the courage to tell some of these hard truths.

No war is ever won only in the war rooms, Mr Branson 🙁

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  1. Wars are won by industry, pumping out munitions, developing new technologies to transport soldiers and goods and researching new explosives. On climate, quite right Willy, carbon isn’t cut by talking about it. Industries are developing new products and technologies that seriously cut carbon emissions in every day products like detergents – for example, a P&G study in the UK concluded that if everyone in the UK washed at 30°, it would save enough energy to light 500,000 homes. Are governments doing enough to promote such sustainable innovations provided by industry??? – I’ll bet my last incandescent bulb they haven’t.

  2. A very British thing to say. We no longer need to reorganise our economy to build airplanes, but could drop everything in the ‘fight against climate change’. But ‘clean energy for all’ is just one of the 6 big campaigns the world needs to address, next to water, food, shelter, health and education.

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