Businesses around the world are becoming leaders in climate action for the benefit of their communities, the planet, and their financial prosperity. The renewable energy industry has taken off recently, with the solar industry growing over 4800 percent in the past 12 years. Furthermore, renewable energy jobs now employ over 11.5 million people globally, and the number of jobs in this sector has been increasing by the millions annually. Outside of the clean energy space, businesses across industries are spearheading initiatives to increase their corporate sustainability, and 80 percent of mainstream institutional investors now take into account companies’ environmental impact when making investment decisions.
- Fires that are exacerbated by climate change cost $130 billion – $150 billion worth in damages to businesses and houses in the California fires during 2020 alone–the equivalent financial devastation of what we would see with a Category 4 or 5 hurricane (Hurricane Katrina was a category 5).
- Rising sea levels are causing millions of dollars worth in damages. A 2007 study found that affected businesses in London had lost 100,000 Euros each due to rising sea levels which caused property damage and slowed economic growth. Since then, floods have worsened around the world.
- Climate change is disrupting domestic and global financial systems, leading to a cascade effect that will negatively affect businesses’ assets and access to financial resources.
- Property damages and ecological disruptions due to climate change is slowing economic growth around the world (even in places that aren’t’ dealing with the effects of climate directly).
- Changing temperatures and rainfall patterns is reducing crop yields worldwide, which is negatively affecting the agriculture industry as well as other industries that depend on affected raw materials for their business operations.
- Businesses can either innovate now or pay more down the road. Carbon pricing or other regulations, which are important political tools to mitigate this crisis, will negatively affect businesses that are not proactive now.