Recently, the World Economic Forum published its Global Risks Report 2018.
The Report acknowledges the impact of climate change and the need for swift action on the part of all stakeholders.
That such an acknowledgment comes from a Forum at which the global elite meet and discuss issues of global governance provides insights that regardless of the rhetoric, effects of and ways to mitigate climate science are being considered seriously.
A recent study by New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry put the cost of global subsidies to the oil, gas, coal and other fossil fuel sectors close to $425 billion each year.
Questions are now being asked at the highest levels for the need to subsidise the problem, especially when the removal of such subsidies alone can reduce global carbon emissions by almost 10% by 2050.
Towards Green Economy
Apart from acknowledging climate change and sharing research there is a conscious and strategic move by Government superannuation funds to invest in the green economy.
Large carbon emitting nations like China and India are now actively looking at transitioning to green economies. Both have committed to planting more trees and investing in ways to reduce their emissions.
We see acknowledgment by policy makers and entrepreneurs about climate science, and about the need to take action so that our future generations protected.
However, there are also some who do not accept Climate Science and continue to vouch for further investment in fossil fuels.
Lives under threat
One may feel that they are resisting change and this resistance may be for a good reason. Most of us will only accept to act rationally when there is a direct impact of anything on our lives.
Individuals, institutions or countries who refuse Climate Science and the switch to greener forms of energy have made historical investments in the economy fueled by oil, gas, coal and other fossil fuels.
These individuals, institutions or even nations have invested a significant amount of their time and efforts apart from money in traditional areas of growth.
Hence an overnight shift in their means of investing and earning money is unlikely.
Market-based mechanisms such as the emissions trading scheme were thus designed to attract all stakeholders so that there are incentives to make a gradual shift to the green economy.
With climate change we see how it is affecting our lives daily, storms are destroying properties and increasing the amount we pay for our insurance premiums.
Companies are finding it more and more challenging to underwrite insurance risk.
At the same time, innovation is driving investment into the green economy and the shift from traditional resources of energy to greener and cleaner resources is accelerating.
Of course, strong resistance will continue. Optimism that both sides will work together towards solutions that will positively affect not just lives of our generation but of generations to come is the only way forward.
Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash