Risks and opportunities in the net zero transition

The physical effects of climate change are already impacting ecosystems, communities and businesses worldwide. As the various blogs in this site suggests, humanity’s failure to significantly reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions has intensified and accelerated these effects and the associated risks to business.

Physical risks are not the only risks associated with climate change. As economic and social systems undergo the transformative changes needed to create a prosperous net zero future, businesses will also be impacted by a wide range of transition-related risks. In this transition we will see changes in behaviour and consumption patterns, more stringent climate-related policies and regulations, rapidly evolving technologies as well as significant developments in financial systems and global markets. The scale and complexity of these changes means we are also more likely to see the emergence of social and technological tipping points.

To remain profitable and resilient, businesses will need to manage the risks associated with these changes – and recognise the opportunities that follow. This set of notes examines the principal risks and opportunities associated with the transition to net zero. We consider how re-purposing the economic system to facilitate the transition can provide opportunities for innovation, resilience and growth. We will also discuss how network effects and tipping points can help accelerate the transition and drive systemic change.

[an excerpt from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership course which you can learn about here.]

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