This week our European Parliament ignored 72 leading businesses, including Unilever, Google, Centrica, Coca-Cola, Marks & Spencer, H&M, Puma, ASDA, BT, National Grid, Thames Water, Nestlé, Nike, Kingfisher, IKEA, Sony, Danone, Carrefour, SSE, Phillips, Co-op, Lloyds TSB and BSkyB.
In addition, they ignored the governments of Germany, France and the UK.
All the aforementioned argued that increasing the EU emissions reduction target to 30 per cent by 2020 was good for business and the European economy, creating millions of new jobs and mega commercial opportunities.
These innovators noticed that China is outcompeting everyone on clean technologies, raking in the cash and taking over the world.
However, depressingly, other organisations hooked on fossil-fuels, including VW, ArcelorMittal, BP, Maersk and EU president Poland, cannot see that those days are numbered and lobbied hard for the status quo, narrowly winning by 347 to 258 votes.
Sir Nick Stern, the former Treasury economist and now chair of the Grantham Research Institute, said of the vote result: "It's a missed opportunity and the EU risks falling behind in the economic growth story of the future."
I couldn't agree more – it's a sad day for Europe and a painful punch for all those that work hard to provide solutions for a more sustainable world.
Let's hope customers will now vote with their wallets to support those organisations innovating to secure Europe and our world's future. Our government must prove it supports them too, and fast, for many are losing patience with the slow pace of change.
Charles Perry, partner, SecondNature Partnership