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Re: [New Mobility/WorldTransport Forum] WBCSD & the auto industry - part of the solution, but how?

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  • Lee Schipper
    I was a strong supporter of the idea of the WBCSD, helping informally to set it up when I was at the IEA and then Shell Int l. Long conversations with
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 7, 2004
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      I was a strong supporter of the idea of the WBCSD, helping informally to
      set it up when I was at the IEA and then Shell Int'l. Long conversations
      with organizers at both auto and oil companies, potential consultants.
      Organized 1 of the expert forums (Mexico City, last year) and
      participated in a few others.
      I will read the material and report back here -- rumors fly that the
      final report is weak -- seems like the fuel companies are very agressive
      about clean fuels, which is the easy part, but the car makers are wont
      to say "less cars than otherwise", and that's really what all gazes into
      the future are all about. But let me look carefully first.

      >>> eric.britton@... 7/7/2004 6:30:24 AM >>>
      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.)



      Eric Britton

      The Commons, Paris





      " 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."
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