Can the climate crisis be a catalyst for true change?

Purpose, People, Planet - Profit for Impact Triple Bottom Line

I’m a believer in #OpenLeadership and, in particular, Leading from Purpose (see my core post on this here). For 2020 I’ve also decided to seek out case studies of successful businesses and write around them under the theme “Purpose-Led” with the first one this week: “Purpose-Led – from 13 people to 6 million“, where I also wrote: “This is all part of a mission to build bridges to CEOs, and specifically to address the doubters that believe that Purpose as the core driver for Leadership is only “window dressing”. “

Now, I have always believed in the new triple bottom line as a model for leaders, but in the last year or so I have come to believe that the climate crisis will be THE catalyst to move more and more CEOs, Boards, Shareholders to truly shift their “WHY” to one focussed on Purpose, People, Planet before Profit.

What makes me believe this? Simple. Ironically it is self-interest that will drive this shift. Sometimes it takes a massive crisis to drive massive shifts in behaviour, with such massive shifts changing how investment and business is conducted around the world.

Today, an extract from a daily email this week from Fred Wilson, one of the leading venture capitalists out there for many years.

The massive capital reallocations Fred predicts will see (I believe) private capital, aligned with government regulation, law-making and policy (in response to democratic public outcry) change the entire face of capitalism and move it towards, yes, Purpose, People and Planet as the way business is done, the way of #OpenLeadership.

What Will Happen In The 2020s

It’s 2020. Time to look forward to the decade that is upon us.

One of my favorite quotes, attributed to Bill Gates, is that people overestimate what will happen in a year and underestimate what will happen in a decade.

This is an important decade for mankind. It is a decade in which we will need to find answers to questions that hang over us like last night’s celebrations.

I am an optimist and believe in society’s ability to find the will to face our challenges and the intelligence to find solutions to them.

So, I am starting out 2020 in an optimistic mood and here are some predictions for the decade that we are now in.

1/ The looming climate crisis will be to this century what the two world wars were to the previous one. It will require countries and institutions to re-allocate capital from other endeavors to fight against a warming planet. This is the decade we will begin to see this re-allocation of capital. We will see carbon taxed like the vice that it is in most countries around the world this decade, including in the US. We will see real estate values collapse in some of the most affected regions and we will see real estate values increase in regions that benefit from the warming climate. We will see massive capital investments made in protecting critical regions and infrastructure. We will see nuclear power make a resurgence around the world, particularly smaller reactors that are easier to build and safer to operate. We will see installed solar power worldwide go from ~650GW currently to over 20,000GW by the end of this decade. All of these things and many more will cause the capital markets to focus on and fund the climate issue to the detriment of many other sectors.


Also published on Medium.