"(…) the leaders, including Lars Lokke Rasmussen, the prime minister of Denmark and the chairman of the climate conference, agreed that in order to salvage Copenhagen they would have to push a fully binding legal agreement down the road, possibly to a second summit meeting in Mexico City later on."This should give governments more time to problem-solve the differences that exist between industrialized and developing countries in terms of mitigation costs, as well as the complex mechanisms involved in passing relevant legislation in the United States – the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China. Many countries – including European Union members at the forefront of mitigation initiatives – are wary of committing to further investments without assurances that America will be an active participant.
Global warming is not a regional problem. As I read somewhere, lack of synchronization “is like someone blowing their leaves into our backyard.” There is no fence. Hence, it is critical for the U.S., China, the EU, and India – among others – to be on the same page.
Many in the private sector are moving ahead, regulation or not. Multinationals like energy giants BP and Shell, General Electric and other are investing billions of dollars in cleaner technologies. They have become the necessary tree-huggers. Most governments tend to be reactive rather than proactive. It may be time for those new tree-huggers to also contribute politically as they have in terms of corporate image to a sustainable future that will ensure their continued growth.