The French Prime Minister's Grenelle "public consultation" on the environment isn't over yet, and we're all struggling with conflicting reports about what has been decided and how it will be implemented. We're waiting until the dust settles, the meeting actually ends, and the outcomes are announced to issue an official line on the whole package.
But yesterday I heard the following words come out of the mouth of the leader of a G8 country:
"From now on," said Nicolas Sarkozy, "every major public project, every public decision will be judged on its effect on climate, and on its carbon cost. Each public decision will be judged on how it affects bio-diversity. The onus won't be on ecological decisions to prove their merit, but on non-ecological projects to prove they can't be done any other way. Non-ecological decisions must be taken as a last resort. It's a total revolution in the way we govern our country."
And I, literally, stood up and cheered.
I don't care what part of the political spectrum those words come from.
I don't care how difficult the decisions to implement those words are going to be.
I don't care how disappointed we will inevitably be with the speed with which those words will become reality.
Those are the words we have been asking to hear from a leader for decades.
And those are the words we need to hear other leaders taking up.
It's all about the action that results, of course, and I'm under no illusion that we're going to have to push hard to see this move forward at the pace it needs to.
But tonight, I'll raise a glass to Nicolas Sarkozy. The French Energy [r]Evolution has begun.