Mar 14, 2013

The Power Index: carbon cutters, Martijn Wilder at #5

Martijn Wilder is the world's top climate lawyer by some accounts. So does he think the law is letting down the environment when it comes to global warming? And if it is, who's to blame? Read about the lawyer whose management skills and networking have taken him to the top of Australia's low-carbon economy.

Cathy Alexander — Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne

Cathy Alexander

Freelance journalist and PhD candidate in politics at the University of Melbourne

“The law [mass noun]: the system of rules which a particular country or community recognises as regulating the actions of its members” (Oxford Dictionary).

So whose interests does this “system of rules” serve when it comes to the environment versus economic development?

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6 thoughts on “The Power Index: carbon cutters, Martijn Wilder at #5

  1. Roger Clifton

    When a lawyer asks, “what can I do about climate change?”, one answer is “help us prepare prosecutions for Crimes against the Environment”.

    That the legislation has yet to be framed and endorsed by the nations of the UN should not stop a lawyer. The Nuremburg Trials of 1946/7 used evidence that predated the freshly endorsed Crimes against Humanity.

  2. Mark Duffett

    “There seems to be a wave of hysteria with respect to a range of environmental issues at the moment … It’s one thing for people to voice their opinion, it’s another for governments to be swayed in decision-making by Andrew Bolt.”

    Non-expert environmental hysteria is certainly rampant at present, but Bolt is hardly the prime culprit. Environmental activism on supertrawlers, coal seam gas, Tarkine and several other areas is backed by just as little science as Bolt’s position on climate.

  3. Mike Flanagan

    Thanks Cathy Alexander for this informative article and I must commend the series.
    I do hope these ‘knights’ of industry give some impetus to other business groups and leaders to face up to the reality of the enormous challenges Climate Change presents.
    Without the active paricipation of the ‘movers and shakers’ as well as the scientists, in attending to the challenges, we are going to bequeth both the current and future generations an enormous economic and social debt.

  4. Scott

    I’m pretty sure the Nuremberg trials were based on earlier laws of war conventions like the hague convention.
    Regardless, there is already enough regulation around the environment, especially in developed countries like Australia.You can’t cut down a tree these days without signing away your first born. It’s only in the developing world that you can still pollute at will.

  5. bjb

    It’s a bit rich for Mr Wilder to blame politicians for bad environmental law. I’d be 100% sure that the vast majority of his firms clients are big end of town companies who invariably use firms like Baker and McKenzie to lobby government to get laws drafted in their favour.

  6. z craig

    I have recently done a post graduate management course on corporate sustainability. No real surprise to find that sustainability (environmental, social & financial) require multiple paradigm shifts within both government, but particularly in business thinkging, and schooling.

    The main principles of this new area are
    – the need to recognise damage to the environment;
    – change management from status quo to sustainability;
    – adaption mechanisms for business means new skills in HR, environmental & social management;
    – the best firms presently tend to be lean and small;
    – Top 500 ASX firms now starting to do sustainability reporting, which should filter down through most firms over time

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