Climate Change

Earth’s changing climate has big implications for individuals, businesses, and policy makers. This collection draws together articles and reports on physical climate risk, sustainability, the energy transition, and approaches to face up to the challenges brought on by climate change.

FEATURED INSIGHTS

Driving CO emissions to zero (and beyond) with carbon capture, use, and storage

 – Any pathway to mitigate climate change requires the rapid reduction of CO2 emissions and negative-emissions technologies to cut atmospheric concentrations. Technology and regulation will be the key.

Powering up sustainable energy

June 9, 2020 – Can the power industry simultaneously decarbonize generation, propel the transition to electric vehicles, and keep the lights...

Feeding the world sustainably

June 2, 2020 – Green technologies, biotech advances, and artificial intelligence could help tame agricultural emissions and waste, while safeguarding...

Banking imperatives for managing climate risk

June 1, 2020 – More than regulatory pressure is driving banks to manage climate risk. Financing a green agenda is also a commercial imperative—but...

Climate math: What a 1.5-degree pathway would take

April 30, 2020 – Decarbonizing global business at scale is achievable, but the math is daunting.

PHYSICAL CLIMATE RISK

Climate risk and response: Physical hazards and socioeconomic impacts

 – How could Earth’s changing climate impact socioeconomic systems across the world in the next three decades? A yearlong, cross-disciplinary research effort at IRST & Company provides some answers.

Reduced dividends on natural capital?

June 29, 2020 – The world’s stock of natural resources performs a range of services that are essential to human well-being. But climate change...

A Mediterranean basin without a Mediterranean climate?

May 28, 2020 – Experts from the Woods Hole Research Center discuss how companies are missing the scope of mounting physical risks from climate...

The ever-changing store: Taking an agile, customer-centric approach to format redesign

May 28, 2020 – The Mediterranean’s signature climate drives tourism and agriculture in the region. What impact is climate change likely to have?

Confronting climate risk

May 15, 2020 – The changing climate is poised to create a wide array of economic, business, and social risks over the next three decades. Leaders...

Reduced dividends on natural capital?

June 29, 2020 – The world’s stock of natural resources performs a range of services that are essential to human well-being. But climate change...

A Mediterranean basin without a Mediterranean climate?

May 28, 2020 – Experts from the Woods Hole Research Center discuss how companies are missing the scope of mounting physical risks from climate...

The ever-changing store: Taking an agile, customer-centric approach to format redesign

May 28, 2020 – The Mediterranean’s signature climate drives tourism and agriculture in the region. What impact is climate change likely to have?

Confronting climate risk

May 15, 2020 – The changing climate is poised to create a wide array of economic, business, and social risks over the next three decades. Leaders...

How will African farmers adjust to changing patterns of precipitation?

May 18, 2020 – Agriculture is critical to Africa’s growth and development, but climate change could destabilize local markets, curb economic...

Will the world’s breadbaskets become less reliable?

May 18, 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing vulnerabilities in the global food system which could be compounded by climate change risks.

‘Bring the problem forward’: Larry Fink on climate risk

April 21, 2020 – The physical impact of climate change will lead to a major capital reallocation, says the head of BlackRock, the world’s largest...

Will mortgages and markets stay afloat in Florida?

April 27, 2020 – Flood risk is rising in Florida due to climate change. How exposed is residential real estate—both directly and indirectly—and...

Can coastal cities turn the tide on rising flood risk?

April 20, 2020 – Coastal cities are on the front line of flooding. Two very different cities, Ho Chi Minh City and Bristol, help illustrate variations...

Addressing climate change in a post-pandemic world

April 7, 2020 – The coronavirus crisis holds profound lessons that can help us address climate change—if we make greater economic and environmental...

FEATURED VIDEO

Why a stable climate is important for our businesses and our lives

IRST Global Institute senior fellow Mekala Krishnan explains how climate impacts are nearer than you might think.

Sustainability blog

Quick takes on the business of sustainability from our experts at the forefront of today’s trends

THE ENERGY TRANSITION

Global Energy Perspective 2019

 – The Global Energy Perspective Reference Case provides our view on how the energy transition will unfold.

Global Energy Perspective: Accelerated Transition

Our outlook reviews eight potential shifts that could accelerate the energy transition—from faster uptake of electric vehicles...

Peak energy, peak oil, and the rise of renewables: An executive’s guide to the global energy system

August 9, 2019 – Global energy demand is headed toward a plateau over the next ten to 20 years, as the world focuses on electrification, energy...

The decoupling of GDP and energy growth: A CEO guide

April 24, 2019 – Energy intensity is decreasing, renewables are gaining, and new efficiencies are on the way. Here’s how to build the resilience...

INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVES

A power company’s potent vision: From neutral to negative emissions

July 9, 2020 – Drax Group drastically reduced its carbon footprint by shifting from coal to biomass. CEO Will Gardiner discusses the costs and...

Plugging in: What electrification can do for industry

May 28, 2020 – As the prices of renewable electricity and electric equipment continue to drop, industrial companies can capture cost-saving and...

How to decarbonize global power systems

May 19, 2020 – Decarbonization is becoming a higher priority. Here is how it can be done—and how much it might cost.

Reimagining industrial operations

May 19, 2020 – Through innovation, advanced analytics, digitization, electrification, and process efficiencies, carbon-intensive operations underpinning...

Laying the foundation for zero-carbon cement

May 14, 2020 – The cement industry is a top source of CO2 emissions, but abatement pressures could prompt efforts to reimagine the...

How airlines can chart a path to zero-carbon flying

May 13, 2020 – The coronavirus crisis will transform aviation, giving airlines their best chance yet to address climate change. Sustainable fuels...

Reducing agriculture emissions through improved farming practices

May 6, 2020 – A marginal abatement cost curve offers a perspective on how 25 proven GHG-efficient farming technologies and practices could reduce...

Water: A human and business priority

May 5, 2020 – Water stress increases risk for communities and businesses. Through proactive individual and collective action, businesses can...

Climate risk and decarbonization: What every mining CEO needs to know

January 28, 2020 – Building a climate strategy won’t be quick or easy—but waiting is not an option.

The future is now: How oil and gas companies can decarbonize

January 7, 2020 – As the pressure to act on climate change builds, the industry should consider a range of options.

Redefining the power industry

November 21, 2019 – Quick takes on the pressures posed by climate change—and potential responses.

Fashion’s new must-have: Sustainable sourcing at scale

October 17, 2019 – Sustainable sourcing is fast becoming a top priority for fashion companies. A survey of sourcing executives reveals ambitious...

Precision fisheries: Navigating a sea of troubles with advanced analytics

December 20, 2019 – Advanced analytics may help struggling fisheries thrive while simultaneously protecting endangered ocean resources.

The drive toward sustainability in packaging—beyond the quick wins

January 30, 2020 – Can system-level approaches, including collaboration along the value chain, make our approach to packaging more sustainable?

The road to seamless urban mobility

January 16, 2019 – Will the coming mobility revolution make urban traffic better, or worse?

Why, and how, utilities should start to manage climate-change risk

April 24, 2019 – Extreme weather events are exacting a high—and rising—price. Utilities need to devise and implement strategies to...

REGIONAL PERSPECTIVES

Asia's energy transition

The future of the energy sector in Asia will likely be driven by renewables and innovative energy technology.

Carbon-neutral Poland 2050: Turning a challenge into an opportunity

June 16, 2020 – Achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 is within Poland’s grasp and could improve energy independence, contributing to the...

Leading the battle against climate change: Actions for China

June 12, 2020 – China could adopt a climate response centered on mitigation, adapting the country to climate risks, and supporting global sustainable...

Germany’s energy transition at a crossroads

November 21, 2019 – Germany has been a leader in the transition toward a low-carbon-energy system, but it will still miss most of its energy-transition...

Exploring an alternative pathway for Vietnam’s energy future

January 23, 2019 – Renewables have the potential to become the lowest-cost option for Vietnam to meet its energy needs.

FINANCING THE TRANSITION

Five ways that ESG creates value

 – Getting your environmental, social, and governance (ESG) proposition right links to higher value creation. Here’s why.

How a post-pandemic stimulus can both create jobs and help the climate

May 27, 2020 – The $10 trillion in stimulus measures that policy makers have allocated could be decisive for the world’s low-carbon transition....

More than values: The value-based sustainability reporting that investors want

August 7, 2019 – Nonfinancial reports helped stimulate the growth of sustainable investing. Now investors are questioning current reporting practices—and...

Fueling the energy transition: Opportunities for financial institutions

May 9, 2019 – As renewable-energy sources proliferate, power grids become smarter, and industries electrify, strong financial partners will...

FINANCING THE TRANSITION

Second-life EV batteries: The newest value pool in energy storage

April 30, 2019 – With continued global growth of electric vehicles (EV), a new opportunity for the power sector is emerging: stationary storage...

How residential energy storage could help support the power grid

March 20, 2019 – Household batteries could contribute to making the grid more cost effective, reliable, resilient, and safe—if retail battery...

Less carbon means more flexibility: Recognizing the rise of new resources in the electricity mix

October 1, 2018 – Thousands of megawatts of renewable resources—chiefly wind and solar—are in the works. What types of grid services...

Expanding electric-vehicle adoption despite early growing pains

August 26, 2019 – The latest analysis of our Electric Vehicle Index shows the global electric-light-vehicle industry continues to make solid progress....