The global economy has seen some shocks in recent years – and in the last decade in particular. After being rocked by the crash of 200, the global economy has been impacted by geopolitical wars, the immigration crisis, and a pandemic that shut it down and cost billions.
If the word on everyone’s mind last century was “growth”, the 21st century needs to be concerned with “sustainability” since unregulated growth only leads to sparse resources and a planet in desperate need of some respite. The question is, can we create a sustainable world in time to prevent the worst effects of climate change that are set on businesses and people?
In this article, we discuss the future of the global economy, sustainability measures being undertaken but nations to curb the worst effects of climate change, and the suitability of measures to tackle the problems. It is becoming more imperative with every passing year.
Key Takeaways: Sustainability in the Global Economy
- Energy consumption is one of the core metrics for sustainability and net zero targets.
- Since the pandemic, businesses have woken up to the need for greater future resilience.
- Circular economies are already in operation and will play a key role in future systems
- Ecosystems and resources are fundamental to survival and life quality on the planet.
Net Zero and Energy
The Paris Climate Agreement, also called the Paris Climate Accord, is a multinational agreement made in 2015 to curb the worst effects of climate change by reducing carbon emissions and reaching Net Zero by 2050. There’s never been a more pressing need.
The Paris climate accord has called for more accountability in corporate sustainability, putting governments and companies under pressure to make substantial changes in the direction of net zero emissions by 2050. Achieving these challenging targets will require changes to energy use.
Building sustainable energy infrastructure in businesses is not too different from in the domestic sphere. Like customers, businesses must also switch suppliers, consider local energy options, and change the internal habits of the employees. These actions are known as low-hanging fruit.
Resilience and Adaptation
The Covid-19 pandemic rocked the world, shutting businesses and industries down on a global scale like never before. The pandemic crisis taught us many things about our global infrastructure and ability to adapt to shocks. Now, businesses are keen on future-proofing.
Sustainability only works with the right mindset and market conditions. Instead of a growth-orientated mindset, businesses need to be interested in planning, financing, and implementing a sustainable business model that works long-term and can adapt to change.
The global pandemic taught businesses to expect the unexpected. It also showed that they need to re-conceptualize business models to future-proof them from expected economic shocks and unexpected global changes. A sustainable mindset is not only valuable; it’s necessary.
Circular economies – systems that keep materials in circulation for as long as possible for safe disposal – are necessary for the global economy to ensure that net zero targets remain realistic. Circular economies are already effective on a small scale, but there is more ambition needed.
Circular economies benefit net zero efforts in several ways. First, there are fewer materials manufactured and transported, reducing carbon emissions and improving sustainability efforts. Secondly, circular economies offer alternative solutions and savings in a number of industries.
Without question, circular economies are realistic. Circular economies are already used in many parts of the world to reduce carbon emissions and waste. Materials such as cement, chemicals, and steel are easy to redistribute and reuse. some retail logistics solutions are also needed.
Ecosystems and Resources
One of the challenges of the world of the future – more so than the world of today – is ecosystems and resources. As the planet warms, dry regions become more desperate for water creating issues with food production and water distribution. Ecosystems will also be affected.
Again, sustainability is the key to addressing the expected systemic problems of the future. Unfortunately, humans are quite poor at anticipating abstract threats like climate change and resource scarcity. That said, climate change protocols are being implemented at the moment.
The challenges for ecosystems and resources are significant. There is ocean acidification to consider; this destroyed coral and marine life and indicated a saturation of carbon in the atmosphere. Forest is another concern that will have to be addressed in the near future.
Trust is shaky when it comes to climate change. According to surveys and intergovernmental forums, people lack trust in governments, businesses, and the media to take viable action on climate change. But of course, everyone needs to be on the same page when on this issue.
The disconnect between people and governments is a key concern for sustainability efforts. Governments and businesses need to lead by example instead of people making wholesale changes to their lifestyles. When authorities take the lead, it changes attitudes around climate.
Sustainability is realistic in local areas, but it calls for a collective effort. What is unrealistic is a business-as-usual attitude to everyday life, but again, this is hard to sustain in a world that is changing so dramatically. Let’s hope the pieces fall into the right places when the dust settles.
There’s no question the world is waking up to the realities of climate change and the disasters that are likely to follow. Indeed, the planet is already sustaining more wildfires, droughts, and distribution issues than ever before. They are human-made problems, so we have the answers.
Realistically, the global economy needs to undergo a major transformation to align with the Paris Accord and subsequent agreements at COP conferences. For this to happen, there needs to be unilateral agreement on the processes, attitudes, and practices that are best suited to meet the targets set out by the Paris Agreement and COP conferences as we move toward mid-century.
In short, sustainability isn’t only realistic; it’s necessary to meet climate targets in 2050 and create a stable and reliable world for future generations. What that will look like is anyone’s guess, but we can play our part today by making up for the inadequacies of previous decades.
(Disclaimer: This content is a partnered post. This material is provided as news and general information. It should not be construed as an endorsement of any investment service. The opinions expressed are the personal views and experience of the author, and no recommendation is made.)