It’s Heating Up: Industry Needs Climate-Friendly Policies to Keep Cool and Competitive
May 1, 2015 Editor 0
Emiko Kashiwagi / Flickr
Industries account for nearly one-third of direct and indirect global greenhouse-gas emissions, and they will be playing an increasingly important role in achieving the global targets expected to be set at the international climate summit in Paris in December. For example, the cement (5 percent), chemicals (7 percent) and iron and steel (7 percent) sectors account for nearly one-fifth of all global greenhouse-gas emissions, and those sectors have significant potential to reduce those emissions.
Tackling climate change by focusing on industries has long been a contentious issue. Some industries claim that regulation will impede economic growth by imposing additional burdens on competitive sectors. In some cases, they have an argument; but, if it is designed well and adapted to the context, a smart and timely intervention can influence a socially and economically positive systemic change.
Many businesses themselves, by pursuing cost-effective, long-term, environmentally sustainable production, long ago realized that “going green” can be highly advantageous, and they have been taking a pro-active approach toward addressing the issue precisely because it makes business sense. One group of global business leaders – including Unilever, Holcim, Virgin Group and others – have taken their commitment further by encouraging governments to lend their support for net-zero emissions strategies by 2050.
Even in developing countries, companies like Intel are investing millions of dollars in energy efficiency to save on current and future energy costs. The company has already saved $111 million since 2008 as a result of $59 million worth of sustainability investments in 1,500 projects worldwide.
Source: New Climate Economy 2014; World Bank World Development Indicators
The sentiment that climate action by both the private sector and the public sector is urgent was also an important theme highlighted by World Bank Group President Jim Kim during January’s World Economic Forum conference in Davos. Mitigation measures, such as energy-efficiency policies, have long been seen as a way to improve profits and manage risks. The logic for energy efficiency, a key set of abatement actions by the manufacturing sector, is there.
The recent New Climate Economy initiative, produced by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, estimates that at least 50 percent – and, with broad and ambitious implementation, potentially up to 90 percent – of the actions needed to get onto a pathway that keeps warming from exceeding 2°C could be compatible with the goal of ensuring the competitiveness of industries.
- Climate of hope, amid a season of summitry: Anticipation builds for vital summits on sustainability and climate change
- Sovereign wealth funds: the catalyst for climate finance?
- History in the making: ‘Policy relevance’ and long perspective, with the Spring Meetings starting a series of summits
- To foster innovation, let a hundred flowers bloom?
- Sparking Innovation in Post-Conflict Nations
- Value Chains and me: It’s more than just fashion
Categories: World Bank PSD
Subscribe to our stories
- The renaissance of farming systems research in Africa January 16, 2018
- Entrepreneurship competition encourages the Malian diaspora to start businesses on their home turf January 16, 2018
- India: Digital finance models for lending to small businesses January 16, 2018
- Powering up Africa through innovation January 16, 2018
- Which ones did you read and download?Africa RISING’s most popular online products and resources in 2017 January 16, 2018