Thursday, December 14, 2006

Climate change an election issue?

I have the feeling this Reuters news story is a bit over-optimistic. I think we are far from seeing climate change being truly an election issue. However, certainly things are rapidly changing in politicians' perspective on climate change - partly thanks to successful campaigns and a change of attitude in the media. Also, if we compare the situation this year to the situation just one year ago - certainly there are some signs of change.

The article suggests that, just as Bill Clinton used the battle cry "It's the economy, stupid!" to keep his 1992 presidential campaign focused, political leaders worldwide are chanting a "new mantra" based on growing alarm about global warming.
Mainstream parties in Germany, Britain, France, Canada, the United States and Austria believe tackling climate change is a vote winner while established Green parties in Germany and Austria are experiencing a renaissance, the article says.

"Climate change, if presented the right way, is a topic that voters are definitely opening up to," Manfred Guellner, managing director of Germany's Forsa polling institute, told Reuters. "We're seeing you can score points with it.

In addition, this month, Canada's opposition Liberals elected former environment minister Stephane Dion as their leader. Dion campaigned on green issues and said he would focus on the need to cut emissions from the booming Alberta oil area.

Watch this space!