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Climate Change Debate Needs Revolution

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  • mtneuman@juno.com
    FYI Mike Neuman, Madison No political affiliations. “It s beginning to dawn on people that we are talking about such a major change in society people are
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 6, 2007
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      FYI
      Mike Neuman, Madison
      No political affiliations.

      �It's beginning to dawn on people that we are talking about such a major
      change in society people are saying this is tougher than what we thought.
      How do you change society in a radical way in a democracy so the people
      you want to vote for you are also going to suffer the consequences of the
      policies that you put in place.�

      - Bjorn Stigson, President of World Business Council for Sustainable
      Development
      http://www.wbcsd.org/plugins/DocSearch/details.asp?type=DocDet&ObjectId=M
      jYxODU
      ------------------------------------------------------
      Climate Change Debate Needs Revolution

      Financial Times, 5 September 2007 - A revolution of society on a scale
      never witnessed in peacetime is needed if climate change is to be tackled
      successfully, the head of a major business grouping has warned.

      Bjorn Stigson, the head of the Geneva-based World Business Council for
      Sustainable Development (WBCSD), predicted governments would be unable to
      reach agreement on a framework for reducing carbon emissions at either a
      US-sponsored meeting in Washington later this month or at a United
      Nations climate summit in Indonesia in December.

      Climate change is also expected to be high on the agenda at this week's
      annual summit of Pacific leaders in Sydney.

      �It will probably get worse before it gets better before governments feel
      they've got the political mandate to act,� he told the Financial Times
      during a visit to Jakarta. �We're going to have to go into some sort of
      crisis before it's going to be resolved. I don't think people have
      realised the challenge. This is more serious than what people think.�

      The �challenge�, Mr Stigson said, is for developed nations to cut carbon
      emission levels by 60 to 80 per cent from current levels by 2050 if
      global emissions are to be kept below 550 parts per million. Global
      emissions at that level would keep average permanent global temperature
      increase below 3 degrees by 2050, a level beyond which most scientists
      say climate change would be significantly worse.

      The WBCSD reached this conclusion after studying the Stern review on
      climate change, the International Energy Association's world energy
      outlook, and a recent International Plant Protection Convention review.

      �I think it's beginning to dawn on people that we are talking about such
      a major change in society people are saying this is tougher than what we
      thought,� he said. �How do you change society in a radical way in a
      democracy so the people you want to vote for you are also going to suffer
      the consequences of the policies that you put in place.�

      �I don't think we've seen that kind of a challenge in societal change
      happening peacefully. It's [only] happened in revolutions.�

      The 200 members of the WBCSD, which have a combined market cap of
      $6,000bn, are dismayed by politicians' lack of political will to address
      the issues, Mr Stigson said.

      �We're very concerned by what we see and the lack of response from
      governments in grasping the responsibility they have in dealing with this
      issue,� he said. �Our problem right now is that we�don't know what the
      policies are going to be beyond 2012. How do you take these issues into
      consideration when you build a new plant that's going to live for 30, 40
      years.�

      The WBCSD want rich countries to agree on global targets for themselves
      while committing to developing nations $80-$100bn a year and technology
      to help them grow more sustainably.

      �If that deal is not there, you'll be in a situation where India, China
      and Brazil will say, we're not going to get into any agreement,� he said.
      �If I were betting my money now, I would bet that by 2012 the world will
      not have a global framework. We will have a patchwork of regional and
      national regulations that we have to make as compatible as possible.�
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      "We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size
      of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service and
      relationship to humanity."
      - Martin Luther King, Jr.
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