The Davos Meet was an important step towards dealing with climate change, but there is still a long way to go.
In a year where failures to mitigate climate change topped the list of the potential risks and disasters, the world still fails to implement proper and actionable measures to mitigate the global disaster. Climate change is the greatest risk facing the world today. Furthermore, climate change supersedes other challenges experienced throughout the year such as terrorism and even social inequality. It is in light of this critical challenge among others that the Davos meet was recently held Switzerland. On top of the agenda was to determine the impact of the fourth industrial revolution on global challenges, especially climate change.
This year’s forum saw over 2500 people in attendance, representing governments, academia and the business world. The large numbers in business representatives reflected the financial impact of this forum, more so, when considering the trillions of dollars at stake owing to the current demand of meeting clean energy requirements. The current climate change requirements were set by the Paris agreement where world leaders sort a common ambition to combat climate change. More than $13.5 trillion is needed to implement this ambition. It is hard to ignore the financial impact this common ambition would have on the business world, which is seen to be still reluctant to fully invest in clean energy. (Data from the same source shows the annual 2016 clean energy investment was only $287.5 billion).
The Davos Meet did deliberate on actionable methods of achieving a carbon-free fourth industrial revolution. At the forefront of its agenda, the Meet proposed integrating climate change issues with the current financial markets. This proposal has the strength to force all business stakeholders to use climate change data in their capital allocations. It seems to be working. Over 5,500 companies across the globe are now providing climate change data to their investors through their carbon disclosure report/projects. Furthermore, this wave of change is affecting all industries from automation and manufacturing industries to those in the financial industry.
There are some addressable changes happening across sectors. With disasters comes opportunities as seen with the current trends of events where businesses are re-evaluating their tactics to profit from the current changes in climate. There is a higher price put on disasters such droughts and floods by insurers and banks today. They also want to lend and invest in renewable energies. These changes are seen across the field where manufacturers are starting to change their policies to meet the needs of climate change. These industries are slowly transforming their oil and coal-based facilities into facilities that conform to the needs of clean energy.
However, there are some more who need time with their initiatives. With the current investment in oil and coal industries, many investors in the automation and manufacturing industry are calling for extensions in the current climate change regulations and policies, to which we should be a point of disagreement with us. For one, climate change will not take a rest in light of the investments and two, we risk more future extensions. These industries contribute more on greenhouse emissions as compared to the overall global revenue contribution. In the long run, they harm the environment while maintaining the status quo in the world’s financial capabilities. World leaders together with other stakeholders should seriously reconsider their climate change policies and regulations to meet the severity of the problem. The fact that climate change beats weapons of mass destruction and the ever-looming water crisis, should really worry us all and push us to change our ways for the planet.