COMMENT: The charge of the green brigade

02 February 2007 18:37  [Source: ICB Americas]

The environment debate has certainly gone global. Far from being a specific concern of industry, and the chemical sector in particular, green issues are now top of the public’s agenda.

The publication of this special issue is timely. Last week saw the end of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where global warming was high on the agenda. This week sees the 24th session of the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) governing council and global ministerial forum, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Ahead of this meeting, UNEP has named seven world leaders as “Champions of the Earth,” for their efforts on the environment. On the list are former US vice president Al Gore, for “educating the world on the dangers posed by rising greenhouse gas emissions” and Viveka Bohn of Sweden, for “playing a prominent role in multilateral negotiations and her leadership in global efforts to ensure chemical safety.”

The point UNEP is making through these awards is that, despite all the efforts by governments, the private sector, local authorities and civil society, environmental efforts also need people capable of catalyzing change, empowering others and inspiring action. No longer can environmental issues be left to others; we can all make a difference and, indeed, must do so to avoid the calamities that poor environmental practice can cause.

I hope this green issue will provide plenty of food for thought, and spur you to look for ways your company can reduce its environmental footprint and aid sustainable development.

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