Author: Hargadon, Andrew
Source: Pew Center on Global Climate Change
Number of pages: 142
Climate change—and efforts to mitigate it—are creating an increasingly uncertain future for businesses. The long-term effects of a warming climate are enormously difficult to predict. In the near term, however, new policies, technologies, and market preferences are already altering the competitive landscape of entire industries. That is creating opportunities for companies that effectively produce and manage low-carbon innovations in their markets—and threatening those that, by choice or circumstance, do not.
Opportunities for low-carbon innovations exist throughout the economy, especially anywhere that energy is used in the manufacture, delivery, and consumption of goods and services. And with world energy consumption expected to grow by 40 percent in the next two decades, these opportunities are growing. The replacement value of today’s aging global energy supply infrastructure is estimated to be $12 trillion, and that of existing energy consuming technologies is even larger. Global revenues from new low-carbon energy solutions, energy efficiency technologies and services, and other climate-related businesses reached $530 billion in 2009, and are projected to surpass $2 trillion by 2020. Moreover, between 2010 and 2020, the projected cumulative total investment in clean energy generation alone is expected to reach $2.3 trillion. Companies able to bring low-carbon innovations to market quickly and at scale will gain early advantages over competitors, such as product leadership, higher market share, and influence over emerging policies and standards.