Business To Government: "Go Big Green"

One thing the Cancun climate talks is making clear is that big business and the military may have to take the lead in the fight against global warming.

Even the lure of a Mexican resort wasn't enough to entice as many government representatives as last year's event in Copenhagen. Jonathan Wootliff, in this account in Huffington Post, notes the "diminished" number of politicos and the beefed-up business contingent. The conference ends Friday.

Insurance companies and corporate leaders are sounding a common mantra: "Climate change is bad for business," Wootliff says in his article.

Mexican President Felipe Calderón emphasized the importance of the business community in developing climate change solutions, according to this report in Reuters. Business titans Richard Branson, Ted Turner, Walmart honcho Robson Walton and financier George Soros are at the climate confab, and Google Earth, which recently announced a $5 billion investment in a 350-mile undersea cable in the Atlantic Ocean, is also represented.

The business leaders are supporting a pact to decrease deforestation, while one of the reports released at the summit is entitled "Innovating for Green Growth: Drivers of Private Sector RE&D." It was released by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development."

The green growth report says businesses understand that an "unsustainable world is not a good place for doing business," and that "business is the main source of innovation, financing and solutions for the growth required. It must continue to play a strong role in the future climate regime."

The study talks about a "green race" between countries and companies, and suggests governments leverage research, development and demonstration to drive private-sector investments.

The report does not reference the military, but its influence can't be ignored. The U.S. Department of Defense recognizes the the need to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and to conserve energy. It is bad foreign policy and leaves us vulnerable, according to this report.

Thus, the military is using its formidable resources to really go Big Green. If big business and the military recognize the importance of controlling climate change, then government ultimately has to fall in beside them.