Yesterday as part of the Climate Consortium Denmark press tour, the five of us had the extraordinary opportunity to sit down with Connie Hedegaard, the Danish minister of Climate and Energy, to discuss the upcoming COP15 climate talks in Copenhagen.
Mrs. Hedegaard, a member of Denmark's Conservative Party, has emerged as the charismatic leader of global climate negotiations, fulfilling a unique obligation to move forward two seemingly opposing directives -- environmental preservation and economic prosperity.
Mrs. Hedegaard self-admittedly "loves the States" and is maintaining hope (of the Obama variety) that the U.S. will deliver at the upcoming climate talks in Copenhagen this December.
If it does not, she fears the worst for the U.S. -- that it could lose what may well be the best strategic and economic opportunity of the century. She says it best:
If you don’t do this, if you hesitate in changing your economy into a more sustainable, cleantech economy, then China will take the market. Whether we get a deal in Copenhagen or not, I have no doubt that China is just doing it.
In the end you can say that the biggest loser, if we don’t get a common framework set, that would be American business. If they hesitate, they will lag behind.