Climate change is happening, slowly, but surely and we need to start fighting back. If governments will not create stricter laws, industries fighting climate change will be the next best thing. The biggest problem is justifying the cost of reducing emissions.
While many may think that businesses are controlled by one man or a board of directors, the truth is companies are slaves to their investors. Whenever they make a decision, the outcome needs to be in the best interest of the company, which means making the most profit.
If they make a choice that does not benefit the company or causes them to miss a quarterly earnings report, their stock prices will fall. A fall in stock prices means unhappy investors.
How Much Will It Cost
The age-old argument is that it would raise the cost of doing business at an extraordinary rate, but is that really true? While that may have been the case years ago, it is not any longer and the cost of waiting will be far worse.
The Energy Transitions Commissions (ETC) has done extensive research for the viability of a zero-emission industry. According to the ETC, it is completely possible and reasonable for industries to start aiming for zero emissions with our existing technology.
The ETC believes it will only cost 0.5% of the global GDP to pay for it by mid-century. Obviously, the net worth of the world will rise in that time, but let’s look at that figure in the present. To put that into perspective the global GDP is expected to be $87.51 trillion in 2018. That would result in a cost of just $437.55 billion dollars.
What Stands in the Way
The key term in their report was mid-century. Some of the technology was not ready for commercial use and will require more development and funding before it is ready. Even when it is ready it will definitely take time to install every emitter with the proper technology.
Not only is some of the technology not ready, but companies that do choose to move in the right direction will also suffer from large costs that will not result in any profit. This means there is little incentive for large industries to pursue this path.
The bigger problem is the level of urgency. Even in 2018, there are people who do not believe in climate change. Even worse, some of these people are in control of governments.
The Demand is Too High
Due to how our industries and economies are structured, the demand is simply too high for companies to consider large changes. For example, the creation of steel will create carbon emissions. Technology in the foreseeable future will not change that.
The demand for steel is also extremely high. We need technology that will capture and store the carbon emissions, but we also need the demand to shrink. This can be done by using different designs that avoid the use of steel.
This logic applies to other heavily relied upon substances like cement and plastics. If we want to change, we need to use other substances that do not emit carbon dioxide.
If We Do Not Change, There Will Not be Business
If we continue on our current path, humans may not be able to live on Earth anymore. The climate is changing and these changes do not benefit any living creature on Earth. The resources we use are not infinite. Precious resources like oil and fresh water will run out.
Industries and governments need to make real efforts to curb greenhouse gasses from being emitted. It is also important to be more aware of other types of pollution like plastic pollutions in our oceans. These kill fish and sea creatures every day and contaminate the worlds largest food source.
We do not possess the ability to live on other planets yet, so we need to make the most of what we have.