When it comes to priorities for 2022, recovering from the pandemic is critical. But it is at least as important to step up our collective efforts to combat the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, on top of other global risks.
“The world today is on track for at least 2.4 degrees Celsius of warming above pre-industrial levels, which exceeds 1.5 degrees, the threshold to avoid irrevocable consequences of climate change such as intense and frequent extreme weather events and rising sea levels,” says Janet Shum, Sustainable Investing Specialist for APAC at Citi Private Bank. “We have also witnessed major loss of global wildlife population and rainforests that provide us with diverse natural, social, and economic benefits. The evidence is irrefutable.”
“Environmental impacts worsen and are further exacerbated by growing inequality and unsustainable economic development,” adds Shum. “The urgency to deliver sustainable and inclusive economic growth is a key driver for innovation and transformation; it creates immense business and investment opportunities that can do well while doing good.”
Below Shum highlights the latest innovative sustainable developments, from decarbonisation to nature positivity to social inclusion, and how they are creating opportunities for investors.
What developments do you expect as the green momentum continues to accelerate?
Greening the world is not a passing trend but an unstoppable one, given its momentum and importance to the future of humanity.
In 2021, we saw further pledges at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) to strive for net-zero carbon emissions, the phase down of coal, halting and reversing deforestation as well as methane emission reduction. In 2022, we expect to see new opportunities emerge as the world translates these pledges into actions.
Technological advancement and economies of scale will continue to drive clean energy supply and lower its cost. The International Energy Agency estimates clean energy investment to reach over US$100 trillion by 2050. We foresee that electric carmakers, charging station companies, battery makers, infrastructure suppliers and installers, and smart appliance makers will continue benefiting from the net-zero target initiatives.
A whole range of innovations and disruptions has emerged to address other carbon-intensive sectors including cement, agriculture, and food production. Hydrogen technologies, carbon capture utilisation and storage, climate-smart farming, alternative and cultured proteins, and novel cements are some of the examples that are advancing fast.