It's time for action stations.
It is one of immutable truths of the court of public opinion that you can not hold people's attention for more than six months. So, with six months to go to the Copenhagen culmination of the UN's seemingly never-ending climate change negotiations the various political, public, and corporate campaigns surrounding the talks have finally slipped into top gear.
In the past few weeks we have seen a flurry of climate change activity on both sides of the Atlantic (and some typical heel dragging from Australia's government, but we'll put that aside for a moment): both the US and UK released bone chilling climate impact reports painting the bleakest picture yet on the likely effects of global warming on the two countries; the White House launched an orchestrated campaign to secure support for the proposed US climate change bill, culminating in a direct appeal to action from Barack Obama; the UK announced plans to power 20m homes using offshore wind; the US issued $8bn of green car loans; the UK launched the world's largest electric car trial and kicked off its carbon capture strategy; and green groups the world over released more studies projecting a boom in green jobs than you can shake a wind turbine at.
And this is just the start. As the UK government confirmed last week, six months of high profile activity is planned in the run up to Copenhagen, all of which is designed to hammer home the message that aggressive and ambitious measures will be required to avert planetary disaster.
Meanwhile, arguably the most compelling stimulus for greener business models has quietly re-emerged with the realisation that oil prices are on the rise again. They may not be anywhere near the record highs of last year, but with the first green shoots of recovery slowly emerging economists are deeply concerned that oil supplies will not be able to keep track with the rising global demand that will come with any recovery.
Add in the fact that investment in carbon capture and renewable energy, coupled with expansion of carbon cap-and-trade schemes, will inevitably drive up long term energy prices and it becomes clear that energy efficiency initiatives still make a great deal sense regardless of the economic climate.
All of this presents a huge opportunity for green businesses - and an enormous headache for those firms yet to embrace more sustainable practices.
On a purely tactical level, the public awareness campaigns being orchestrated by governments and NGOs offer a one off opportunity for those businesses offering green products and services to push their message to a ready primed audience.
But on a broader level the next six months offer a great opportunity for green businesses to really open up a gap on their carbon-intensive rivals.
Regardless of how the US climate change bill goes in tomorrow's vote and regardless of how the Copenhagen talks eventually resolve themselves, the fact is that more environmental legislation is on the way, along with more low carbon incentives, higher energy bills, and ever increasing investment in low carbon infrastructure and technologies.
Those firms that seize on the opportunity presented by this six month long "perfect storm" and act now to prepare for the post-Copenhagen settlement will be the same firms that are rewarded with higher profit margins and lower risk profiles over the next decade.
Like I say, the time for action stations.
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