Green initiatives might be a wise way to improve energy efficiency and lower costs; they might also be good PR. In either case, however, having a green policy has been optional. Now many business leaders are wondering if that will change as governments, which have waded deep into private enterprise due to the financial crisis, begin to flex their muscles even more and take up the green cause.

At the close of the G20 summit in April, the 20 heads of the leading industrialized countries agreed to make "the best possible use of investment funded by fiscal stimulus programs towards the goal of building a resilient, sustainable, and green recovery....we will make the transition towards clean, innovative, resource efficient, low carbon technologies and infrastructure." In addition, the G20 leaders stated, "We reaffirm our commitment...to reach agreement at the UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen in December 2009."

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