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What next for business in a climate constrained world?

Presentation to TERI Business Council for Sustainable Development, New Delhi, India, 10 July 2014.

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What next for business in a climate constrained world?

  1. 1. New Delhi, 10 July 2014 Professor Jeremy B Williams Director, Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise @TheGreenMBA @jeremybwilliams tinyurl.com/teribcsd2
  2. 2. “You can print money to bail out a bank but you can’t print life to bail out a planet.”
  3. 3. France will host 21st UN Climate Change Conference. The goal is to establish an agreement that is binding and ambitious enough to limit global warming to 20C
  4. 4. ‘Follow the Leaders’ – a sculpture by Isaac Cordal, Berlin, Germany, 2011
  5. 5. Highest level for at least 800,000 years
  6. 6. Dr. Malte Meinshausen
  7. 7. The modelling conducted for the 2013 study produced larger budgets than indicated by the modelling of Meinshausen et al (2009) in 2011 Carbon Tracker work. That approach produced a range of 565 – 886GtCO2 to give 80% - 50% probabilities of limiting warming to a two degree scenario (2DS)
  8. 8. <20C Ian Dunlop Chair, Australian Coal Association (1987-88); CEO of the AICD (1997-2001) ? “The 20C target is too high. It is now the boundary between and extremely dangerous climate change”
  9. 9. New colours on the temperature map
  10. 10. 1 metre sea level rise will inundate more than 15 percent of Bangladesh, displacing more than 13 million people
  11. 11. IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5)
  12. 12. “The sooner you start mitigating the easier it is to adapt. Clearly we could get closer and closer to tipping points and thresholds which would make adaptation totally impossible beyond that stage.” (April 2014) Rajendra Pachauri Head, IPCC
  13. 13. The One Percent doctrine ‘If there's a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It's not about our analysis ... It's about our response.’ Dick Cheney, 2001
  14. 14. James L. Powell (author of The Inquisition of Climate Science) reviewed 13,950 peer-reviewed papers published between January 1991 and early November 2012, and only 24 (0.17%) clearly reject global warming or endorse a cause other than CO2 emissions for observed warming.
  15. 15. Pyndyck (2013)
  16. 16. Limitations of IAMs • The systems modelled are large, complex, and chaotic • It is difficult to capture the complexity of natural and social systems • The full consequences of policies may not be known for decades (and beyond) • Over this time period, many unforeseen events can occur • Scientific knowledge may be incomplete (or absent) in certain areas • The values of human, animal, and plant life, health, and diversity are difficult to quantify. Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) (1995)
  17. 17. Stern (2006) attracted a lot criticism for using a low discount rate
  18. 18. The two reasons used to justify the application of a discount rate … (i) The future always counts for less in the present (i) People in the future will be better off because of economic growth • The future for future generations, will be their present! • This could be a valid reason, but can we be sure that they are going to be?
  19. 19. Garnaut (2011: 21)
  20. 20. ‘The problem is framed as one of profitable returns on an investment not precaution to avoid a disaster.’ Spash (2007: 713)
  21. 21. The revised model by Dr Dietz and Professor Stern takes into account the likelihood that the ability to generate new wealth would be affected by extreme weather and other impacts from climate change
  22. 22. Eleven fifty nine
  23. 23. Creating the next industrial revolution • Radical resource productivity • Biomimicry • Investing in natural capital • Service and flow economy See, also by Paul Hawken, (1994) The Ecology of Commerce www.naturalcapitalism.org Paul Hawken, Amory and L. Hunter Lovins propose 4 central strategies of natural capitalism:
  24. 24. http://www.greenbiz.com/research/report/2013/02/state-green-business-report- 2013
  25. 25. (Released 14 May 2014) Executive Summary: ‘Natural capital will become as prominent a business concern in the 21st Century as the provision of adequate financial capital was in the 20th Century ... … We are already ‘drawing down’ on 50% more natural capital a year than the earth can replenish – and the rate of depletion is accelerating. All too soon, businesses will face a stark choice: adapt or fail.’
  26. 26. • Policy decisions should be based on a judgement about the maximum tolerable increase in temperature /CO2 levels given scientific understanding • Smart business will develop business models that seek to reverse the impact of climate change • It will also make provision for significant climate adaptation costs Summing up …
  27. 27. profjeremybwilliams