Resultsman’s Blog

Copenhagen- The Time to Act is at Hand

Posted in Sustainability by resultsman on November 30, 2009

As the Copenhagen Conference Approaches….

Can the World Achieve the same level of success and cooperation that was obtained with the Montreal Protocol?


One can only hope that as the world’s leaders meet in Copenhagen have the foresight to recognize the opportunity and challenges that wait as the world’s attention is directed to reducing green house gas emissions. This is a complex situation with no easy fixes.  The world has learned a lot since the Montreal Protocol was adopted in 1987. Montreal was not a perfect solution to the CFC emissions issues which the world faced in the 1980’s, hence the Kyoto revisions were necessary.  The solution adopted in Montreal worked.  In spite of the complexities, the undeniable truth is that chlorine presence in the troposphere is down.  Global consumption of fluorochemicals is down more than 50%. When the protocol was adopted, the world’s fluorocarbon ozone depleting emissions (ODP) originated in the developed countries.  The developed countries of the world have successfully made the transition from use of CFC’s (chlorinated fluorocarbons) to HCFC’s (halogenated chlorofluorocarbons).  The developed countries of the world are now making the transition from HCFC’s to HFC’s (hydro fluorocarbons).

  I began my last entry with the words “Opportunity is knocking for those who are bold enough to hear its call”. Nothing could be more truthful as the political and business leaders of the world prepare to meet in Copenhagen to formulate plans to reduce green house gas emissions and reverse the trends of global warming.  Bold leaders will recognize this fact and work to create a platform that can help save us from ourselves. Followers wait for them to occur.

“Sustainability” based business opportunities will abound in the new business cycle. Corporate values are evolving.  Many major corporations are adopting “Sustainability Platforms” that encompass a sustainable business, environmental and social frameworks for conducting business.  Firms are publishing their Sustainability Platform in their annual report.  Some businesses are making real investments that will help reduce the amount of CO2 that a business consumes. Unfortunately, many other opportunities are not being acted on because companies are sitting on the sidelines as they wait to see what will come from the meetings in Copenhagen and how this will be translated into law in individual countries.

The time for action is at hand and the willingness to recognize the need to take action seems to be changing amongst the world’s business and governmental leaders. I am confident that action will follow this first important step. But the first most important thing that the world needs is a definitive, equitable template coming out of the Copenhagen meetings.  This could easily be roadmap that is followed for the next 40 years. The alternative of inaction could have cataclysmic consequences.