The vast majority of economists polled in a worldwide survey believe the transition to a low-carbon economy will bring about new opportunities for many businesses in their country, and think clear and transparent guidelines would help companies innovate and invest in technologies designed to meet the challenges of climate change.
The poll, conducted among 1,026 economic experts in 86 countries in October, was part of the quarterly ICC and Ifo Institute for Economic Research World Economic Survey.
Asked whether the transition to a low carbon economy will bring new opportunities to businesses in addition to cost reductions, 78% of respondents in Western Europe either agreed strongly or agreed with the statement. The figures for the other regions were as follows: Asia (71%), South Africa (69%), Near East (68%), Central and Eastern Europe (66%), Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (64%), North America, which comprises Canada and the United States (63%), and Central and Latin America (62%). Only 60% agreed or strongly agreed in Oceania.
“Although the spread of non-polluting products and services will bring new economic opportunities all over the world, there are still significant obstacles to innovation because of lack of legislative and regulatory guidelines,” the report said.
A second question asked the economic experts whether they believe that transparent guidelines would help businesses in their country innovate and invest in environmentally-friendly technologies to meet the challenges of climate change. The response was overwhelmingly positive in all regions of the world.
Oceania led the way with 100% of respondents saying they agreed or strongly agreed that transparent guidelines would lead to innovation and investment. Asia was second with 91%, followed by 89% in both Western Europe and North America, 87% in Central and Latin America and in South Africa, 86% in Central and Eastern Europe, 82% in the CIS countries and 80% in the Near East.
“The response to this ICC special question explicitly demonstrated that economists worldwide agree that it is highly important to coordinate economic measures and policies to meet the challenges of climate change,” the report concluded.
ICC will lead business input at the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen later this month as the official UNFCCC business and industry focal point and will present a wide range of business solutions through other activities in the Copenhagen city centre. ICC is co-organizing the Copenhagen Business Day on 11 December with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Confederation of Danish Industry, which will demonstrate firsthand how global business is leading action on climate change.