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Megatrend 4: Climate change & ecosystem
at risk

Portrait of Christian Krys
Dusseldorf Office, Central Europe
+49 211 4389-2917
February 13, 2018

Game changing times

Global warming and strategies to offset carbon emissions are two of the most prevalent issues of the 21st century. As economies continue to grow, so too does the demand for energy and, as a result, CO2 emissions. As part of Roland Berger’s leading Trend Compendium 2030, this in-depth analysis takes a detailed look at what growing energy demands mean for the future of industry. We investigate three key components – global warming, rising CO2 emissions, and the obstacles faced by our ecosystems – to uncover the global challenges that climate change will bring with it.

With the climate conference in Marrakech and the Paris Agreement having come into effect in November, 2016, we see a re-invigorated international commitment and purposeful action to fight global warming. However, following the US elections and President Trump's distinct stance on climate change, future global solutions are under threat and uncertainty comes into play.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) uses different scenarios to estimate future global warming. For the 2°C scenario (where effects of climate change are expected to be manageable), CO2 emissions need to be reduced by nearly 20% by 2030 and 60% by 2050 compared to 2015. This can be achieved with different technologies; however international commitment is needed – with the USA being the second largest emitter of CO2 after China in 2015. Our research shows that although increased emissions and rising temperatures will have a global impact, regional consequences will range from food scarcities, to a decline in biodiversity, as well as the loss of coastal infrastructure, and significantly higher risks when it comes to the extinction of species.

One of the most controversial topics surrounding climate change is the challenge faced by global business and industry. With this in mind, we review the arguments and weigh the positive and negative aspects that accompany this complex topic. We continue with detailed recommendations that industry leaders are able to utilize in order to establish and grow a business-boosting position under these challenging circumstances. This megatrend analysis offers a resolute, precautionary assessment focusing on the observed impact - as well as future risks of climate change on our world, innovation, business and industry.

Study

Trend Compendium 2030, Megatrend 4

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Climate change & ecosystem at risk

Published February 2018. Available in