Many negotiators and large industry groups at the COP15 climate conference in Copenhagen argue that climate action is a question of cost, but the price paid up front is worth the savings later, says the chief executive of a leading business think tank.
The cost often referred to in talks is regarding initial capital expenditures, or capex, but climate change solutions should be compared with operational costs, which would be decreased, and they should also be compared with the collateral of damage avoided cost benefits, Fiona Wain, chief executive officer of Environment Business Australia (EBA), told Reuters.com in an interview.
Demonstrators came out in force early Saturday morning as the sun broke through the clouds that have blanketed Copenhagen during the first week of COP15. A huge march, with about 60,000 protesters expected, is planned for later in the day but smaller rallies are already under way as groups make their way to the main event — the march to the Bella Center, host of the COP15 global climate conference.
Here are some video clips from one march, where protesters held aloft banners reading “Demand Climate Justice” and “Face Facts, Make Pacts”. They want global leaders gathering in Copenhagen to commit to eliminating or at the very least radically reducing CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.
In a country where income taxes can run as high as 60 percent and the word most used to describe almost everything is “expensive”, it’s little wonder the locals are eager to pocket a few extra Danish kroner during the COP15 Copenhagen climate conference.
And if the extra money comes in under the table, even better.
With the hotels and hostels booked solid, some Danes have opened their homes to some of the 34,000 delegates who were tardy in their bookings.
The debate over lowering greenhouse gas emissions is sometimes depicted as a fight between environmental groups concerned over the health of the planet and businesses concerned about economic growth and bottom-line erosion.
Occasionally, though, there is a meeting of like minds between the two.
The WWF has a program in which it partners with companies to target emissions reductions. The Climate Savers program is an agreement between the WWF and its partner companies to lay out targets and set out projects to meet those goals.
It was 29 years ago today that a lone gunman assassinated John Lennon and the anniversary was the spur behind a youth “bed in” at the COP15 conference center.
Socres of young folks from around the world used the day to remember Lennon’s famous bed-in protest of the Vietnam War and to put their own spin on it. They pulled on their P.J.s, pulled out their pillows and protest signs and got in “bed” together to perform a rendition of Lennon’s iconic Give Peace a Chance, remaking the lyrics to reflect their climate concerns.
Walking through the Copenhagen airport, it’s pretty much impossible to miss the signs that illustrate the city’s focus is squarely on the climate. Those signs, literally, are everywhere, with advertisements adorning the walls on the walk from the flight ramp through to baggage claim and off into the arrivals area.
Big companies from Siemens to Shell are making sure you know they care.
Those are nice, but to really get a message across the big conglomerates may want to contact the ad guy for Greenpeace and its NGO alliance. The environment group has plastered the airport walls with a campaign “to mobilize civil society and to galvanize public opinion” to help bring about a new climate deal. The ad series features unflattering photos of world leaders like Germany’s Angela Merkel (pictured in the ad below), President Obama, and others beside this quote: “We could have stopped catastrophic climate change” followed by the subtext “We did … nothing”. Whether you agree with the group and the alliance of NGOs participating in the ad, you gotta admit it’s pretty striking.
Ask anyone about climate change and you likely will get the kind of emotional response not seen since George W Bush left office. People on both sides of the debate – from politicians and scientists to your regular Joe on the street – are often adamantly in one camp or the other, with little wriggle room in between.
The majority of the camp believes that Mother Nature is indeed terribly sick, and that humankind is the virus that caused the disease. The symptoms are a climate that is warming to such a degree we are faced with certain calamity if we don’t do something about it.