Climate change has gone from being dull and marginal to cool and core, according to an article from The Economist. Businessmen, like everybody else, want to be seen to be doing the right thing.
For some firms, such as GE, Alstom and Siemens, a move towards clean energy spells opportunity, according to the article. They sell power-generation equipment and aircraft and train engines. New regulations requiring companies to adopt cleaner processes will mean that capital equipment is replaced more quickly, to the benefit of such companies.
If carbon controls are tightened, the companies that will flourish are those that have positioned themselves well. In power generation, The Economist points to companies such as Exelon and Pacific Gas & Electric, which have invested heavily in nuclear or renewable energy, whereas coal-heavy ones such as AEP will suffer. In the petroleum business, the winners will include BP, with its enthusiasm for renewables, and the losers Exxon Mobil.
There are a series of articles in the current issue of The Economist on climate change and companies.