The message—preventing climate change makes economic sense—is old. But the messenger—Big Money—is new. Nine years have passed since the blue-ribbon Stern Report found that the benefits of climate mitigation would outweigh the costs. Nevertheless, the conventional wisdom, fostered by moneyed interests, has remained just the opposite. Now, a new report from Citibank, the third largest bank in the US, may augur a split within the corporate class. The report finds that transitioning to a low-carbon future would save money, through reduced fuel costs and, most importantly, avoided damage costs. As the perception spreads that climate change (and other forms of environmental degradation) threaten the long term stability of the global market, one can expect more such reports to affect decision-making in the halls of power where corporate influence holds much sway. Whether “enlightened capitalism” can deliver consequential carbon abatement remains to be seen. If so, it could help buy precious time for the shift beyond the corporate capitalist order the world needs.
Bodes well for the future