Copenhagen: STOP PRESS — recession helps environment!

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LEICESTER SQUARE — My colleague Chris pointed it out yesterday: Copenhagen is essentially a great big positioning exercise. And on a week when we are doing this in the Boardrooms of two big multinationals, it’s interesting to watch.

Essentially the nations involved have asked that a written proposal, proposition… or positioning statement be put to them. And then they’ll argue the detail of it. Consensus should flow from that. And even if it’s not consensus (let’s be grown-up about this) then at least the lukewarm, middle road will come with greater insight. Everyone will know where the problems are, and then we can work around them.

We tend to have too black and white a view of these kind of things. Compromise is still success. Everyone goes away with more knowledge and able to start to act on the things that they know need addressing.

At the same time, I am fascinated by how this is still a movable feast. I’m not talking about the debate over data (I looked at that earlier this week). I am talking about yesterday’s report that the recession has helped the environment.

Imagine that?

We consume less and the earth benefits!

Then there’s the fascinating world of cross-cultural negotiation. I was reading about that last night. I am thinking we might develop a course on it for another client.

Although I have worked on every continent, and therefore negotiated contracts with many types of people, I haven’t thought of the science of it before.

And there’s lots of science.

Copenhagen will be brilliant for that. The academics will be rolling in it for years.



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