WBCSD & the auto industry - part of the solution, but how?
Wednesday, July 07, 2004, Paris, France, Europe
Our old friend and colleague, Ken Orski, formerly the original caretaker of the urban transport environment of the OECD’s environment unit years ago when it was just getting started, has just kindly shared with us an abstract of and commentary on the just published report of the WBCSD. His closing phrase caught my attention, and I would like to invite commentary on it here. He writes:
“While it is too early to predict the report’s longer term influence, the sponsoring companies clearly hope that their initiative will, at the very least, help to establish the auto industry’s sincerity and good faith in trying to come to grips with the impact of its activities on the environment.”
Now, I for one get no great pleasure in bashing the auto or energy industry – indeed I think it’s a pretty dumb and counter-productive thing to do since one way or another they are also part of the solution (indeed they are important clients for my personal consulting work as I keep trying to edge them toward a more truly proactive approach in helping create and advance the New Mobility Agenda – I am not that reassured about either (a) the usefulness or (b) the sincerity and good faith – precisely! – of their participation in this particular exercise.
I have my own thoughts on this as you can imagine, but I would be interested to hear what others of you might have to say. Indeed, isn’t the main issue behind this from our shared perspectives here is that we need to make them part of the solution. There can be no doubt about that. The question of course is: will they do it without firm leadership from the public policy end. And if so, what form should that take? (I attach to this note our short original ‘mission statement’ for The Commons which goes back now to several decades. Still pretty much the way it looks around here.)
" The Commons: Increasing the uncomfort zone for hesitant administrators and politicians, pioneering new concepts for activists, community groups, entrepreneurs and business, and through our joint efforts, energy and personal choices, placing them and ourselves firmly on the path to a more sustainable and more just society."