Today in Copenhagen, representatives from 192 countries, environmental activists, global warming opponents, religious leaders and thousands of other interested parties continue the latest round of volatile discussions about climate change.
Now I’m not a politician, and I’m not in a position to predict the geo-political implications of Copenhagen, but I do believe that the massive gathering could be a tipping point for consumers and marketers alike. Here’s why:
The lead story in Tuesday’s USA Today reported that a majority of Americans support a global treaty to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is good news, because as Tom Friedman and other thought leaders have lamented, without political will and legislation, we’re not undergoing a green revolution – instead, we’re just having a green party where things are fun, easy and require no real change.
Copenhagen could, therefore, be the snowball at the top of the hill that leads to real change.
Whether or not the summit produces a global treaty, other efforts will follow and, eventually, it’s highly likely that an international agreement will be reached. Whatever treaty emerges, it’s likely to impact businesses more directly than consumers. And frankly, that’s what American consumers want. Our research shows that Americans are looking to the government and companies to take the lead in solving pressing issues – global warming among them.
So, are you taking proactive steps or is your company waiting for legislation? If you’re already taking steps toward more sustainable operations, what are the next steps? If you’re keeping your head low, will consumers allow you to wait or will they start drifting toward products with green attributes?
Important questions to answer as the snowball rolls down the hill.