Let’s raise a glass to the new decade. Happy New Limbo! Oh dear – no meaningful climate change agreement and at the same time, a pressing need for action. Though uncomfortable, the vacuum does give us space to reflect on last year and focus on the future. And it’s not all bad.
So here are five key trends for 2010 to banish the Copenhagen blues.
1. Investment in cleantech flourishes
In 2009 the cleantech sector attracted more venture capital ($5.6bn) than any other, including biotech and software. And research by Deloitte and Cleantech predicts that irrespective of Copenhagen’s outcomes, investment will continue to grow and strengthen in 2010.
2. Businesses place new emphasis on ethics
With the banking sector still reeling from the financial crisis, most companies want to avoid the ‘socially useless’ label. MBA students are discussing morality, the pharmaceuticals sector is addressing human rights/health and IT and telecommunications will focus on bridging the digital divide. But will finance change its spots?
3. Scientists engage enthusiastically
Climategate sent shock waves throughout the scientific community, whose meek response was so last decade. 2010 will see them get communications know-how, engage pro-actively – and watch their backs.
4. Relations with China defrost
Copenhagen’s low point was surely the key negotiations at which China’s premier failed to show, leaving his vice-foreign minister He Yafei to block a series of proposals from frustrated world leaders. Apparently blushing over its diplomatic bungle, China has removed He Yafei, giving hope to warmer relations with the West.
5. Environmental NGOs target developing countries
The pressing need to combat poverty has traditionally given developing countries holy cow status in the eyes of environmental NGOs, which rarely criticise their stance on climate change. In 2010 we’ll see a major shift in NGO scrutiny as global economic power transfers to China, India and Brazil.
We’ll be tracking our predictions throughout the year – and in the meantime, let’s hear yours!