• Ian Sutton

COP26 and the Dog that Didn't Bark

It's vital for all of us to show that this is not all about some expensive politically correct, green act of bunny-hugging ... This is about growth and jobs.

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

It is not a secret that COP26 is a failure . . .“Global North” is refusing to take any drastic climate action, all the politicians gathered at the conference want is to continue to fight for the status quo.

Greta Thunberg, Activist

The 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) is currently at its halfway point. It is being billed as a turning point, although, as the above quotations illustrate, there are divergent views as to exactly what form that turning point takes.

In the story Silver Blaze, written in the year 1892, the detective Sherlock Holmes is called on to investigate a mysterious death. A turning point in the story is to do with a "curious incident".

Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?” Sherlock Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.” Sherlock Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

The defining event of COP26 may turn out to be the “incident” that did not happen — specifically the non-appearance of the leaders of Russia, China and Brazil. These nations are responsible for much of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and Brazil has responsibility for the Amazon rainforest. Without their presence the conference lacks the commitment that is so badly needed.

Leadership is needed, but the world’s governments are not providing that leadership. The situation provides both a challenge and an opportunity to companies and non-profit organizations to step into the breach.

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.

Peter Drucker