Davos Notebook

Climate change – does business get it?

Climate change — and the need for governments to reach a deal in Copenhagen on limiting climate-changing emissions — has been one of the central themes of this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos.

And despite concerns that the economic crisis could push climate change down the agenda, businesses are salivating at the opportunities offered by going green.

Previously sceptical politicians and NGOs welcome business’s enthusiasm.

“Quite a lot of business has got it, and really understands that this has got to happen and are talking about really innovative things,” Barbara Stocking, CEO of Oxfam.

“If they’re that almost enthusiastic about making the changes then that makes me feel rather better than I did,” she told Reuters.

What do you think? Does business get it?

A climate deal: easier than trade?

Conventional wisdom has it that if the leaders of the world can’t agree on a round of negotiations to liberalise world trade then there’s no chance they will agree on measures to tackle climate change.

After all, a pact to cut greenhouse gas emissions will involve re-tooling vast swathes of industry and impact the way companies do business from Boston to Beijing.

But is that view right? British economist Nicholas Stern – author of a seminal report in 2006 on the economic fallout of global warming – thinks not.