Page 12 - DIY Investor Magazine | Issue 38
P. 12

        Aug 2023 12
Just as the growth in knowledge about environmental challenges spurred innovation and led to calls for action, we believe that the current accumulation of regulatory, societal and economic pressure for sustainable development will accelerate the deployment of green technologies, environmentally positive activities and sustainable initiatives.
There is already exponential growth across numerous green sectors and this will soon cause compound effects in others. For example, the deployment of renewable energy not only decarbonises the electricity grid, but
will also allow non-inflationary energy generation, decarbonisation of transport, reduced air pollution, and improved competitiveness for countries with fewer fossil resources.
Competitive clean energy is critical in the potential production of green hydrogen. In turn, green hydrogen at commercial scale could be critical for the decarbonisation of many industries such as steel, cement or fertiliser production.
Green hydrogen may also unlock alternative fuel options for the maritime and aviation industries. In the longer term, green energy may even be used to capture carbon and reduce the amount of it in the atmosphere. Decarbonising one part of the supply chain can have compound effects across the whole green economy.
While currently less clear, it is probable that biodiversity will eventually benefit from efforts to protect natural capital. Progress on biodiversity has been slower to start in earnest compared to climate mitigation. We are only at the start of the sustainable development journey. Its fastest pace of acceleration will be in the future.
DIY Investor Magazine · On many fronts humanity has achieved incredible successes. The ozone hole above the Antarctic will probably be fully healed by the 2050s – a remarkable feat considering the rate of decay just 20-30 years ago.
Most countries are now signed up to international multilateral environmental agreements aimed at protecting our planetary boundaries, including the Vienna Convention, the Paris Agreement, and the Kyoto Protocol.
Most importantly, global GDP growth has decoupled from global CO2 emissions growth, so nations no longer rely purely on fossil fuels to grow their economies.
The world has likely reached peak fossil fuel demand for electricity. The Brundtland Report stated that an energy efficient alternative for lighting was a 100W light bulb: nowadays LED bulbs use just 3-4W. Even whaling peaked shortly before the 1980s. Air pollution kills less people now than ever before. Unfortunately, there have also been failures.
The Living Planet Index, which measures global wildlife populations, has decreased about 70% since 1988. Global plastics production has grown to 400m tonnes per annum and giant garbage islands are forming in the Pacific Ocean.
Global greenhouse gas emissions have kept on growing, causing further global warming. Energy efficiency has only improved at about 1.4% per annum, far below what is required. Public climate financing has remained below targets. Financing for both climate change mitigation and adaptation is far below what is required.
‘Forever chemicals’ and microplastics are now understood to have high carcinogenic risk.

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