The recently concluded COP28 (Climate Conference of the Parties) in the UAE in December 2023 succeeded bringing oil and gas producers to the table to address climate change challenges and participate in the green-growth revolution. The UAE, the host is becoming one of the largest investors in clean tech, catalyzing a broader race among other oil producing countries to position themselves as the leaders of clean energy. The momentum toward achieving zero emissions by 2050 has also gained traction despite serious delays documented in the stocktaking that happened in Dubai last December. This is happening as countries acknowledge the high costs of climate inaction and the potential loss of competitiveness for those failing to adopt climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. To detail the risk further, Swiss Re, the leading Reinsurance Group, estimates that global climate change could reduce global GDP by 11–14%, or up to $23 trillion annually by 2050 if left unaddressed.
To illustrate the positive clean tech momentum further, investments in clean energy and technologies have surpassed investment in fossil fuels, as demonstrated in the IEA Energy Outlook 2023. With over US$ 3 trillion invested globally in energy in 2023 (as projected by the IEA Report), more than USD 1.8 trillion was invested in clean technologies, including renewables, electric vehicles, nuclear power, efficient grids, storage, low-emission fuels, and heat pumps (IEA 2023). This investment shift is influenced by geopolitical concerns and energy market shocks, pushing nations to prioritize energy security and reduce reliance on politically motivated suppliers. Major policy changes like the US Inflation Reduction Act and the European Green Initiative are also favoring these investments, prompting countries like Canada, Japan, and China to reposition their investment policies towards greater sustainability.
To meet the Net-Zero targets by 2050 and thus avoid catastrophic economic damage and losses, US$ 5 trillion dollar should be invested every year from now to 2040. While we are not yet, I anticipate reaching the 4-5 trillion-dollar investment per year by 2025. Brace yourself for a powerful transition and business transformation.
Call for action: No matter what type of business you are in, get up to speed on green growth, EGS and decarbonization requirements as everyone by 2025 will have to report its carbon footprint and ESG scoring. Plus, integrating sustainability elements into your business model will save you money while positioning your business as a more stakeholder friendly product or service. Time to act.