I’m not overly optimistic about the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. In fact I don’t believe the answer will come from politicians. I think it needs to come from economists, entrepreneurs and the market. We need to change the debate from “saving the world” (which unfortunately doesn’t carry enough punch) to “making money”. What does this has to do with branding?
At the moment, all countries (brands) are more or less the same. Everyone is looking for someone else to lead or to come up with the best excuse for not cutting emissions. This is the chance to leapfrog. If I was pitching for the brand called Australia I would pitch a strategy taking the lead on environmental AND economic growth for it to become Australia’s next export in terms of knowledge, products and services. Investing in new sustainable energy solutions, social entrepreneurship and green collar jobs is not a “pie in the sky” anymore – New York is already committed to a greener buildings and better energy use: “New York City Council voted overwhelmingly to pass the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan – a package of bills aiming to reduce New York City’s carbon emissions by almost 5%, create more than 17,000 jobs, and save New Yorkers $700 million dollars a year in energy costs.”
In five years the Australia brand can be recognised as a global leader in sustainable housing solutions, environmental living, bio-fuels, and more. This move will have a positive effect on wild life (therefore tourism dollars), Education (therefore more money from overseas students) and improved health care with huge benefits to the economy (less money spent on health = more money spent on other things like education). What do you think? Can we do it?