Sustainable marmalade, Cancun and the jilted generation. 13.12.10
Wednesday evening involved another forlorn battle with a bow tie before heading off to Bloomsbury for the Visit London Awards where I was a judge for the Sustainable Tourism Award. Most of the entrants for the award were 4 or 5 star hotels and, to be honest, most were much of a muchness. The notable exception was the winner, the Cavendish London Hotel.
The entry clearly demonstrated that sustainability can be built into all elements of a business and can add to the quality and richness of the service provided. I liked the openness and honesty of their approach and their communication style was thorough without being preachy.
The sustainability goals have also created a sense of innovation – for instance the orange peelings for the morning juice are no longer thrown away but saved to make marmalade.
The awards themselves were fun. I am not sure whether it was too many vodka shots but the combination of Aleshia Dixon, the cast from Priscilla, Twiggy and Neil Fox doing battle with the autocue made for a memorable night, from what I can recall!
Newcastle and Cancun
Expectations for anything successful coming out of Cancun were probably on a par with the hopes of Newcastle fans getting a result against Liverpool. Against all odds the outcomes for both were better than expected.
Cancun could have been the moment when the wheels truly came off multilateral attempts to address climate change. For a time, with the intransigence of countries like Japan, this looked the likeliest outcome. Instead, compromises were reached and there can now be a greater sense of optimism for the next round in South Africa.
As I predicted in my blog last week there were positive announcements around deforestation based on the REDD initiative (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation). Plans were put in place to create a £64 billion a year fund to protect poorer nations against the worst impacts of climate change, and a mechanism was set up to transfer low carbon technologies to developing countries.
What I hadn’t expected to see was improved prospects for an emissions deal to tie both developed and developing countries into binding targets or movement on the international verification of emissions from developing countries.
The big question will be whether these positive words can turn into tangible outcomes during the next round of discussions. Newcastle fans will be similarly wondering if the Pardew impact will also last.
Our offices are in the middle of London and on Wednesday lunchtime we had a tide of student demonstrators passing (peacefully) on either side as they headed towards the Houses of Parliament.
Personally, I find it incredibly heartening to see the rejuvenation of political interest amongst the young. There is a growing amount of literature such as The Jilted Generation and The Pinch, that highlighting inter-generational unfairness. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the way that we are depleting the Earth’s resources – literally stealing carbon from our children.
Hopefully a more active, engaged and sophisticated youth movement will show politicians and decision-makers that their current thinking has to radically change. I'm hopeful - Global Action Plan's Climate Squad is currently in the midst of an innovative project called Greenprint to 2050. We've had a fantastic response from young people and are drawing together their vision for a low carbon future.