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The Climate Economy
One of the themes of this site is that, when it comes to climate change, business and industry will need to provide badly-needed leadership. There are endless articles on the internet saying that “we” should do something. These articles are often framed as a moral imperative. They say that, if we don’t take action, then bad things will happen to ourselves and our communities.
These articles are correct, of course, but they have failed to make much change. People know that they should do the right thing, but all too often they do what is in their best personal interest. For example, there have been 26 COPs (Conference of the Parties). These are high-level government meetings at which national leaders solemnly promise to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. But, on their return home, not much seems to change. (COP27 — the next meeting — will be held in Egypt in November, 2022). If we are to effectively address climate issues then it is best to frame them so as to represent an opportunity for personal and community success.
The same way of thinking applies to business and commercial enterprises. If the leaders of these organizations can be persuaded that it is in their best interest to take action, then they are more likely to do so. Therefore, I found a recent article by by Robinson Meyer in the Atlantic magazine to be of interest. The article is entitled The Climate Economy Is About to Explode to to be particularly interesting.
The article, which is based on an analysis by the bank Credit Suisse, suggests that the recent U.S. Inflation Reduction Act “will have a profound effect across industries in the next decade and beyond” and could ultimately shape the direction of the American economy.
Here are few quotations from Meyer’s piece.
For decades, the country’s biggest climate advocates have tried to reduce the harm that the economy causes to the environment. Now they find themselves tasked with the biggest story in the economy itself.
Clean energy is now the safe, smart, government-backed bet for conservative investors. It’s really a shocking reversal of the past 40 years. It is such a change that it hasn’t yet been metabolized by the world of people involved in the issue.
The number of Americans working in a climate-relevant industry is going to explode.
A switch is coming for companies working on climate change: The opportunity will be too large, the money too persuasive, the problems too intriguing.
It is doubtful that the leadership provided by businesses will solve the problem/predicament of climate change. The hour is late; the hour is very late. Still, it may be our last, best hope. Governments have failed; nor have individual and small groups been able to change society’s overall direction. But maybe companies that are seeking to maximize sales and profits will come up with effective responses.
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