The economic consequences of climate change will be the dominant social and economic reality of the next 15 years, as well as the next century, according to a GreenMoney Journal article by Gary Hirshberg, President and CE-YO of Stonyfield Farm.
The next 15 years will be characterized by a national identity crisis, according to Hirshberg. On one side will be a large segment of affluentials who will be reluctant to downsize and will advocate nuclear over fossil fuels, offsetting vs. actually reducing energy usage, and ultimately paying a premium to maintain the world they were raised to expect.
On the other side will be a large populace who, for mostly economic reasons, will accept the lower social and environmental risks of downsizing but who also treasure security and will be reluctant to embrace the proliferation risks of a nuclear-powered society.
Here are some of Hirshberg’s other predictions for the next 15 years:
- A variety of tax initiatives will be introduced to move us in stages from taxing income to instead surcharging waste and consumption.
- We will soon see a National Emissions Cap and Trade System. Companies large and small will become engaged in a vigorous accounting and trading of greenhouse gas credits.
- A new industry will emerge that enables home owners to convert their roofs into utilities – companies will effectively lease your roof space, installing photovoltaic cells on rooftops.
- New certification groups will emerge who will offer third party climate footprint scoring.
- Food manufacturers will publish climate ratings on their packaging right next to the nutrition information.
- Packaging weights will plummet as industry and consumers jointly recognize the enormous opportunity posed by source reduction to both dramatically cut the embodied energy of products, but also the fuel required for transportation.
Read all of Hirshberg’s predictions here. The article is part of GreenMoney Journal’s special 15th Anniversary issue that looks ahead at the next fifteen years through the eyes of business and green investing leaders.