Can the international business community adapt to the risks?
Climate change is more than an environmental issue; it also is a business issue. Conservatives have long argued that trying to slow the effects of a warming planet would badly damage the economy by raising taxes, increasing regulations and lowering employment. For business leaders, the debate is not academic. If their companies are to survive both competition and climate change, many realize they have to prepare for a future fraught with risk: rising sea levels, catastrophic weather and uncertain supply chains and markets. Many companies also see an opportunity, and they are diversifying into energy-efficient industries, using “smart” microgrid electrical systems at their factories, designing hydrogen-powered cars and building their own lower-carbon cogeneration power plants. Renewable energy is steadily gaining ground, as are “green,” energy-efficient building techniques. Climate change, in other words, is a chance for many businesses to make money. But climate change is producing losers as well. In the end, a question remains: Who will pay for solutions, and how?
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The Next Step
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Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
2101 Wilson Blvd., #550, Arlington, VA 22201
Formerly known as the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit promotes clean energy and environmental stewardship.
The Heritage Foundation
214 Massachusetts Ave., N.E., Washington, DC 20002-4999
Think tank that promotes conservative policies and free enterprise.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1325 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910
U.S. agency focused on the world's oceans and atmosphere.
Union of Concerned Scientists
2 Brattle Square, Cambridge, MA 02138-3780
Organization of independent scientists and researchers working on energy, food, climate and nuclear issues.
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20585
Federal department in charge of researching, establishing and implementing U.S. energy policy.
U.S. Green Building Council
2101 L St., N.W., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20037
Within the United States: 1-800-795-1747
Outside the United States: 1-202-742-3792
Organization that created the LEED standards of sustainable building design.