As world leaders seek to downplay expectations ahead of this week's G20 summit and the authorities attempt to play up the prospect of a riot, it is fast dawning on sustainable businesses that the chances of a Green New Deal coming out of the meeting are about the same as those of an anarchist protestor trying to get in.
It already appears to have been agreed that low carbon projects will get what they are given, which amounts to around 15 per cent cut of the $2 to $3 trillion of stimulus spending already committed globally and not a penny more.
These are not sums to be sniffed at and are far more than the clean tech sector could have expected even 12 months ago. But the fact remains that there is near universal agreement such a sum is insufficient for the stated aim of laying the foundations of the low carbon economy, while any resulting emission reductions could well be wiped out by those parts of the stimulus packages dedicated for spending on roads, airports and other forms of carbon intensive infrastructure.
The tragedy of the green business movement at this moment is that at a time when virtually every political leader, with the notably exception of the Czech President, accepts the case for action on climate change and the argument that low carbon industries need financial support to accelerate their push into the mainstream they are in the worst possible position to provide that support. The fiscal cupboards are bare.
When the UK government is risking the country's entire microgeneration strategy over its failure to find a few a tens of millions of pounds to prop the sector up until feed in tariffs come in next year you know the purse strings are painfully tight. Ministers know there are funding problems and they would like to do something about it - it's just that the Treasury, or rather the realities of the nation's finances, won't let them.
There will almost certainly be no global Green New Deal that goes beyond what has already been promised and any UK firms holding out hopes for a Green budget next month would be advised to get their disappointment in early.
So, what next? Based on the latest climate science the roll out of low carbon technologies was not going fast enough even before a combination of tightening credit conditions and falling fossil fuel prices began to torpedo renewables projects. Government-backed plans for energy efficiency initiatives and the like are welcome but few go far enough to deliver the really deep emission cuts required. The low carbon economy needs more support, but where is it going to come from?
In the short term, low carbon businesses need to rein in their calls for grants and loans and tax breaks, and instead focus on more innovative support mechanisms that are not going to leave the Treasury picking up the tab.
It is encouraging that the speculation surrounding the wind industry's planned budget submission centres on proposals such as loan guarantee schemes that should help restore lending to wind projects, while ensuring the government only has to shell out if projects fail - an unlikely occurrence given the scale of the subsidies such projects can already access and the booming demand for green energy.
Similarly, calls for grants and tax breaks for energy efficient and renewable energy technologies are gradually being replaced by more pragmatic plans for feed in tariffs and a government-backed low interest green loan scheme, modelled on the student loan scheme, which could actually end up making the Treasury money.
But in the longer term, if green businesses want the support they insist is necessary to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy then they are going to have to grasp the nettle of taxation policy.
There was an interview with one of the BBC's interview Rottweilers a few years back - I think it was Jeremy Paxman, though it might have been John Humphrys - where they offered a rather resigned assessment of the media's fixation with stories about public sector failures and suggested those who criticise public services as inadequate should invariably be asked whether they supported higher taxes to pay for the improvements they demand.
It is a message the low carbon sector should take to heart, because if they want the level of support and subsidy required to help build a low carbon economy then they need to help politicians make the case for the higher taxes and energy bills that will be required to provide that support.
A more ambitious Green New Deal is essential if the global economy is to have any real chance of avoiding the worst effects of climate change. But if low carbon businesses want it to become a reality they need to do more than join the inchoate mass of protestors calling for ever higher levels of public spending - they need to make a coherent and unanswerable case for how and why low carbon investment should be funded.
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