3 Reasons Why We Need to Talk About Investment, Infrastructure, and Innovation
Insight GLOBE Series CEO, Mike Gerbis, shares some insight about the importance of cross-sector collaboration in stimulating a clean economy, both in Canada and abroad.
At GLOBE Capital, we bring together people from industry, government and the non-profit sectors to address three specific and very important components of the clean economy: investment, infrastructure and innovation.
Why investment, infrastructure and innovation?
Reason #1 Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity
Before we get to the opportunity, we need to start with the risk. Climate change poses a very real challenge not just to our environment, but to our economy. Extreme weather events have long-term effects on property and infrastructure, investments, health, migration and security.
The risk associated with climate change is balanced with the opportunities associated with transitioning to a clean economy. Policy and market signals are coalescing, with products like renewables becoming cost competitive with or cheaper than conventional fossil fuels. It is estimated that the global clean technology market is currently worth over a trillion dollars. Building, rebuilding and maintaining infrastructure creates jobs and has the potential to underpin the long-term economic stability of communities.
The financial community is realizing that climate change risk needs to be integrated into company valuations and investment decisions. We’re seeing massive investments in infrastructure by governments and the private sector around the world. These advances are not only in traditional infrastructure but, more importantly, in the infrastructure of the future – e.g., 5G, the Internet of Things, and micro-grids, to name a few.
Reason #2 We need to make new rules
The advances that jurisdictions like California have made – driving up economic output while driving down carbon emissions – suggests a new set of rules is poised to emerge. Here in Canada, our Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, often says, “We know that the environment and the economy go together.”
Not only that, but trends such as digitization, globalization, urbanization and changing demographics are influencing communities and economies around the world.
Transforming decision-making frameworks around infrastructure, innovation and investment to capitalize on this shift is an enormous opportunity for government and business in Canada and around the world. Entrepreneurs in innovative sectors need access to long-term, ‘patient’ capital that will see them through long growth cycles and uncertain markets. Leaders and innovators will have to work across silos and sectors to collaborate on solutions never seen or thought of before.
Reason #3 Our decisions will profoundly impact our future
We need to think about creative ways to design, build, operate and maintain infrastructure with a low-carbon future in mind. How do we integrate emerging technologies into the design of new infrastructure? How do we retrofit existing infrastructure with technologies that make it zero carbon and fit for the future?
We need to collaborate across disciplines and figure out how to creatively finance these projects. There is a ton of capital out there, how do we get it into the right hands? The investment, infrastructure, and innovation communities must come together so we can answer these questions and shape the future together.