Environmentalist says ignoring the climate crisis is ‘malpractice’ for CEOs

Ignoring the changes to the global economy that are being created by efforts to stop the climate crisis is a bad business practice, environmentalist Fred Krupp said in a interview with Yahoo! Finance.

Even just looking at the economics of it, the transition into clean energy and all the additional work going into preventing planetary warming is creating major opportunities to make money, he said.

“This transition to clean energy is going to make the whole explosion of the internet look like a kid’s lemonade stand,” Mr Krupp, the president of the non-profit Environmental Defense Fund, told Yahoo! Finance.

“In any sector, if a CEO isn’t thinking about this, it’s malpractice,” he added.

Business leaders who don’t understand the economic opportunities afforded by the clean energy transition will become business school case studies, but “not in a good way,” Mr Krupp said.

The economic “malpractice” of ignoring these changes stands alongside the need to protect the planet, he added.

Fossil fuels still made up nearly 80 per cent of energy use in the United States last year, according to the federal government’s Energy Information Agency (EIA). But renewable energy like solar and wind are expanding rapidly, as is investment in things like non-fossil fuel-powered transportation.

In the first half of 2022, renewables made up 24 per cent of electricity generated in the US — on pace for the highest number ever. And the Inflation Reduction Act, signed by President Biden this summer, is likely to spur even further development of renewable energy infrastructure, as well infrastructure in energy storage technology like batteries, reports Utility Dive.

In addition, sales of consumer products like electric vehicles (EVs) are also growing rapidly and being incentivized. EVs hit more than 5 per cent of US car sales earlier this year, Bloomberg reported. And the market is on track to grow even further as charging stations are built out and states incentivize EVs.

The Inflation Reduction Act has created new tax credits for buying EVs and invested billions of dollars to create public charging stations. In California, the state government has said that there will no new sales of fossil fuel-powered cars after 2035 — a deadline that some other states have now adopted as well, following California’s lead.