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In preparation for the new global warming treaty to be approved later this year, which will replace the Kyoto Protocol in 2012, actress Cate Blanchett took to the stage at the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen last Monday to demand the inclusion of a dramatic cut in carbon emissions.

According to the Copenhagen Climate Council, “[Climate change] is too complex for politicians to solve alone. That is why 30 internationally renowned businessmen, scientists and civil society leaders have joined forces to call for global action on climate change.”

And that is why Cate Blanchett was there to urge them on. “Political failure at Copenhagen in December is quite simply unacceptable,” said Blanchett, “and this powerful room must play a major role in preventing this failure.”

Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council, Tim Flannery, is very much in agreement, and sees the solution in the form of dialogue: “We have seen [the future heroes of the 21st century] explain breakthroughs, innovations, pathways forward that make so much eminent sense.” The challenge is translating all this into political action, he says. “Absolute focus on clear communication is clearly where we need to go as a council. We have an extraordinarily short time, but we must use that lever of public awareness if we as a council are to do our job.”

Blanchett’s sense of urgency is even more personal because the problem is already affecting her homeland. “Australia’s best climate scientists have been warning us that we’ll face many more catastrophic fire days in south-east Australia,” Blanchett said, “unless the world acts to dramatically cut greenhouse pollution [now].”

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