Energy world voices anxieties over Mexico Climate Conference

Several key business leaders, scientists and academics spoke yesterday of the disappointments of the Copenhagen Climate Conference and what needs to change in Cancun in a couple of weeks if […]

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By Tom Gibson

Several key business leaders, scientists and academics spoke yesterday of the disappointments of the Copenhagen Climate Conference and what needs to change in Cancun in a couple of weeks if it is to be successful.

Richard Gledhill, Global Leader, Climate Change & Carbon Market Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers said: “The outlook isn’t very encouraging: Trust in the process; trust between negotiating blocs; trusts in markets; even trust in some of the science, or scientists, has fractured.”

The group were speaking at a Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum seminar and voiced suggestions for different approaches needed to meet climate change targets.

Andrew Pendleton, from the Institute for Public Policy Research, expressed a change in political approach: “What can we do? There’s been a lot of focus, over the last decade, on science and then economics, but what I think needs to happen now is a big focus on the politics. We need to plan a politics initiative.”

Dr Douglas Parr, the Chief Scientist at Greenpeace suggested linking environmental issues with what ordinary people find important: “There are plenty of initiatives that can be taken which don’t rely on people having a deep understanding of climate models but are actually about the stuff of ordinary politics; they are about getting things done and getting the economy moving.”

The notion of importance was echoed elsewhere as those speaking highlighted a growing lack of interest in environmental issues as a consequence of the global economic situation.

COP 16 in Cancun runs from November 29 through to December 10.