APOTHEKER

Léo Apotheker is CEO of SAP. The views expressed are his own.

Most people who followed the Copenhagen climate talks in December will have been disappointed.

While the agreement brokered by the group of countries that included the United States, Brazil, China, India and South Africa and ratified by most of the attending countries is being touted as a success of sorts, it fell far short of the expectations that had built up, and achieved very little in concrete terms.

Now with the World Economic Forum approaching, the issue of climate change and sustainability will once again dominate discussions among the business and political leaders who attend the annual gathering in Davos.

Ever since the 1968 publication in Science of Garrett Hardin’s article “The Tragedy of the Commons,” it has been regarded as virtually an article of faith that only strong national and international regulators can be trusted with the proper management of public resources.

A clear regulatory framework is necessary for businesses to act in competitive environments and maybe at least some pieces of such a framework will be provided in the future. But it was not provided at Copenhagen.