Climate Change Investments Are Good Business Opportunity
Investment in reducing climate
change will be less costly than the damage otherwise inflicted by climate
change on people, infrastructure and ecosystems, according to a Prof Ove Hoegh
Guldberg from the ARC Centre for Excellence in Coral Reef Studies at the
University of Queensland in Australia.
According to him the return on investment for reducing climate change is good enough when one considers the damages avoided by acting. The investment is even more compelling given the wealth of evidence that the impacts of climate change are happening faster and more extensively than projected, even just a few years ago. This makes the case for rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions even more compelling and urgent.
Prof Hoegh-Guldberg explained the mismatch. "First, we have underestimated the sensitivity of natural and human systems to climate change, and the speed at which these changes are happening. Second, we have underappreciated the synergistic nature of climate threats -- with the outcomes tending to be worse than the sum of the parts. This is resulting is rapid and comprehensive climate impacts, with growing damage to people, ecosystems, and livelihoods."
For example, sea-level rise can lead to higher water levels during storm events. This can create more damage. For deprived areas, this may exacerbate poverty creating further disadvantage. Each risk may be small on its own, but a small change in a number of risks can lead to large impacts.