We may be only a third of the way through the Copenhagen climate change bonanza (Copyright Rob 2009) but you could be forgiven for thinking that most people had grown sick of it already.
Actually, this is not strictly true. Copenhagen has gripped the business world, and The Lobby is no exception. Indeed, we are proud to say we now know our baselines from our carbon intensity, our CCS from our BRICs. You want to know why the US is being sneaky by choosing 2005 rather than 1990 as its base year for emission reductions calculations? Just ask us.
Forget the global economic crisis. Forget bankers and risk speculation. Forget the Iraq War, the Afghanistan surge, forget Somali pirates, forget – yes, even this – the Lisbon Treaty. For the issue everyone is talking about now, from Brussels to Brunei, is Copenhagen.
It may not be true that more people know Kyoto for its climate change summit than its Shinto temples, but will the same be said of Copenhagen? Perhaps The Little Mermaid’s days of fame are numbered.
The public can be forgiven for being confused. One minute leaders are playing the Summit down (e.g. there will be no agreement), the next they big it up. One minute man-made climate change is portrayed as an unarguable fact, the next it is being torn to shreds by a biblical-sounding climate change “denier”.
Whatever does come out of Copenhagen – and something will, despite the attempts of the latter group – the actions of the individual look certain to be more scrutinised than ever before, particularly in the developed countries. In a nutshell, if you aren’t already aware of your carbon footprint, you soon will be.
We at The Lobby like to think of ourselves as being relatively carbon-neutral – the Editors own one car between us, but we sure as anything rack up the air miles. We also probably overheat our apartments. All victimless crimes, or so we may think, but Copenhagen looks set to change perceptions, as well as reality. Time to wake up and smell the carbon before it’s too late.