IF you were going to have a serious high-level discussion about, say, improving science teaching in schools, then who would you invite to chair the meeting?
How about an astrologer? Perhaps a purveyor of crystal healing would be a good choice? Maybe a creationist, a fortune teller or a spiritual healer?
Well of course not. This would be ridiculous. But just hold that thought for a minute.
A few days ago, the Commonwealth Business Council brought its high-level bi-annual forum –hosted in Perth, Western Australia – to a close.
The CBC boasts membership from 54 countries, across five continents with more than 100 member companies. Among its goals, the CBC aims to “provide leadership in increasing international trade” and to promote “good governance and corporate social responsibility”.
Among those in attendance at the CBC forum were the Australian Prime Minister, senior Australian cabinet members, ministers from South Africa, the UK, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Rawanda and the Caribbean.
There were senior representatives from international energy and mining companies, including BP, Woodside, RioTinto, Shell and Hancock Prospecting.
With all of that power and influence in the one place, organisers promised that the meeting would likely spawn many multi-million dollar international business deals.
But the meeting also broke-up with the news that, among other things, it had failed to reach any kind of agreement on tackling climate change.
According to a report in The Australian
, the London-based council’s director-general Mohan Kaul said this lack of an agreement was down to the “diverse views” of those businesses in attendance.
Mark Barnaba, the forum’s steering committee co-chairman, said the lack of consensus was “unsurprising”.
Indeed, this lack of agreement was unsurprising. Even an astrologer could have correctly predicted it, given the person they asked to chair the forum's climate change session.