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We Need to Engage “Four Worlds” on Climate Change

Erik Rasmussen, founder of the Copenhagen Climate Council, doesn’t try to pretend that COP 15 was anything but a failure. The talks concluded without a global climate treaty, and Rasmussen thinks there’s now a significant amount of fatigue that has set in when it comes to addressing these issues.

Rasmussen says we can’t afford to remain in the standstill brought about by the COP 15 talks, but he doesn’t have high hopes that the next round of talks in Cancun will be any better: “It’s too close to Copenhagen, and the political fatigue and climate fatigue following Mexico. So I don’t think we should have too high of expectations,” he says.

In order to make future climate change talks a bit more enlightening and effective, Rasmussen says we need to engage “four worlds”: science, business, politics and the general public. “So far, we have been speaking four different languages. Nobody understood each language, and therefore, we were in four different worlds.” That is the challenge he’s put forth for COP 16.

These interviews are part of Big Think’s ongoing series “Balancing People, Planet and Profit: The Future of Business Sustainability,” sponsored by Logica. So far, the series has featured interviews with Peter Brabeck, the Chairman of Nestle; Gro Harlem Brundtland, Special Envoy on Climate Change, U.N.; Ernst Weizsäcker, Co-chair, U.N. International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management; Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Group; Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at IEA; and Bjørn Lomborg, Environmental Economics Professor at Copenhagen Business School. The series examines ways that business interests can be better aligned with the greater social good.


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