Despite all the hype about the greening of the private sector, the big businesses of the world largely don’t rate climate change as a top priority:

Nearly nine in 10 of them do not rate it as a priority, says the study, which canvassed more than 500 big businesses in Britain, the US, Germany, Japan, India and China. Nearly twice as many see climate change as imposing costs on their business as those who believe it presents an opportunity to make money. And the report’s publishers believe that big business will concentrate even less on climate change as the world economy deteriorates.

The survey demolishes George Bush’s insistence that global warming is best addressed through voluntary measures undertaken by business — and does so at the most embarrassing juncture for the embattled President. For this week he is convening a meeting of the world’s largest economies to try to persuade them to agree with him.

It’s not a moral failing. It’s just not what business enterprises do. They are waiting for government to act, to create a stable, predictable investment environment.

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