Thursday, 3 January 2008

The end of climate conferences as we know them - From problem to opportunities and from talk to action 2008

So far most of the “action” from large companies have been little more than talk, talk and talk. Some time linking it to PR material meant for more talk (Like Vattenfall’s work with McKinsey and their 3C initiative), just green washing campaigns aiming to convince people that even though they are investing in unsustainable solutions and only have a symbolic activities in sustainable areas (Basically all automotive companies, and especially their business associations, and oil/energy companies), or sponsoring things that do not change their business models (most philanthropic work in the carbon intensive industries).

However more and more people now understand that it is real action that is needed. Some who have been organizing conferences for years without any other result that talk are getting nervous and want to see some real result.

I have been looking into the possibility to rate conferences depending on how much real action they are resulting in (note that talk is not bad, it is just that it is almost the only thing we have today).

A few conferences January-March that could be possible arenas for new thinking include (and where I’m trying to do my best for result that delivers):

- Davos/WEF

- Sustainable Energy Week (Participation in GeSI panel and they pay for it)

-UNEP Expert meeting on trade and climate, Geneva

- BITKOM, Sustainable ICT, Berlin (Invitation to talk about sustainable ICT)

- Greening the Economy, European Business Forum, Brussels

As I will be in Europe then the list is EU based, but as I move first to Asia and then US I will track other conferences. Gartner in Las Vegas could be a key event later this spring for example…