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Doing Business at Copenhagen

The Daily Telegraph seems most keen that the business sector should be at the Copenhagen Climate Change negotiations :-

“Copenhagen Climate Change summit: do businesses need to be there? : The Copenhagen Climate Change summit is fast approaching. There’s going to be an army of negotiators in the Danish capital but do businesses need to be there? By Kamal Amed : Published: 19 Nov 2009 : …while there’s been an awful lot on the politics of Copenhagen…there has been relatively little on what the business sector is supposed to be saying or doing. Many big players are privately indicating that they need to be there for political reasons rather than business reasons and that the whole thing is, ahem, a load of hot air. Looking more broadly, […] there is a danger that the whole event becomes little more than a photo-opportunity…that might give us all time to consider exactly the business and finance sector is supposed to be doing to tackle climate change…”

“EDF Energy and Centrica to snub Copenhagen : Major energy and utility companies, including EDF Energy, Centrica and International Power, have decided not to send delegations to next month’s Copenhagen summit, which global leaders now admit is unlikely to reach an agreement on new measures to tackle climate change. By Rowena Mason and Nick Collins : Published: 21 Nov 2009 : European Commission president José Manuel Barroso has said that he sees the conference itself as “an important business opportunity” and organisers are hoping that representatives from hundreds of companies will turn up. However, despite a high-profile World Business Day in the first week of the summit, several major energy companies contacted by The Sunday Telegraph said that while they support the aims of the conference, they believe that it is unlikely to make a difference to the difficult conditions for investing in low-carbon power generation…”

Does Big Business, Big Energy in particular, need to be at Copenhagen ? I would argue not. They’ve had their chance to influence all the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They always been asked to take part in producing “special reports” for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They’ve been heavily involved in shaping European Union policy on Carbon Emissions Trading :-

Their well-oiled words are not necessary as the Conference of the Parties (COP) edges towards a treaty on emissions reduction.

In fact, we might see more business done at Copenhagen if the Big Energy firms kept well away, and the people were allowed in :-

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