The failure of the worlds political leaders to reach a legally binding agreement and set global targets for carbon emissions in Copenhagen means that business and facility management in particular will have to take the lead.
It is hardly surprising that most politicians are unable or unwilling to act beyond their own short-term self interests. Perhaps that is a natural result of democracy. The less democratic nations don’t have that excuse though! However as someone said over the weekend – “If the climate was a bank they would have saved it!”
Climate change activists must recognise that they have still not done enough to persuade public opinion that radical and lasting long-term action is needed. Our political leaders are still not convinced that enough voters want them to take the necessary steps to stop the planet frying and they are nervous of the reaction of those who oppose it.
On the plus side there was a sense that even the worst polluters recognised the need for change and the move to a single accord and public statement on the action of each major player was quite an achievement. I was also (grudgingly) impressed by the effort put in by Milliband and the UK team.
However many business leaders have said that the political failure to set reduction targets leaves them without enough certainty to justify the massive investments needed to begin to move toward low-emissions operations.
Sir Richard Branson told Bloomberg that he believes industry will have to go it alone. “We owe it to the public to get our house in order,” he said. “If the governments won’t set targets then I would suggest that the airlines get together and do it themselves and set an example.”
I think the same applies to those of us in the built environment. Both the FM industry and the profession need to step up to the mark and not to hide behind fancy words, economic excuses and blind compliance with government posturing.
Why shouldn’t we lead the way to a 10% cut in the shortest possible timeframe. Wouldn’t it be good to see a mass sign up to the 1010 campaign by FMs leading the way into the new year?