How Markets Will Determine Environmental Protection

August 24, 2017
“Many lines of evidence demonstrate that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are primarily responsible for observed climate changes. There are no alternative explanations.”
The US National Climate Assessment (2017)


The United States Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment has been officially disbanded. Originally mandated to help the country prepare for a changing climate, this panel offered a platform for the world’s leading academics, industry, government and local officials to advise private sector and government stakeholders on navigating climate change risk.

Designed to examine all new scientific climate research and summarize the current state of knowledge in the field, the 4th National Climate Assessment was compiled from several thousand studies conducted by tens of thousands of environmental specialists.

Global Land and Ocean Temperature Anomalies


Source:  4th National Climate Assessment (2017)


These are the main conclusions:

  • Climate change is currently changing more rapidly compared to previous climatic changes on record.
  • The average global temperature has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, with recent decades registered as the warmest of the past 1,500 years. This can be seen in measurements of surface, atmospheric, and oceanic temperatures; melting glaciers; disappearing snow cover; shrinking sea ice and rising sea levels.
  • There has been a significant increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme heat and rainfall, consistent with the projected environmental response to a warming climate.
  • Associated impacts to water quality, agriculture, human health, and infrastructure development after extreme weather events have cost the United States $1.1 trillion in damages since 1980.
  • Human activities are primarily responsible for the observed changes in climate. There are no alternative explanations or observed natural cycles that can explain recent climate change.

These declarations are stated in the report with as much certainty as possible in the realm of physical sciences and yet many actively refute this evidence. The Trump Administration, known for referring to climate change as a ‘Chinese hoax’ and its attempt to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, has yet to officially sign off on this research. This and the aforementioned disbanding of the Advisory Committee have concerned many as it reflects a distinct lack of interest in exploring climate research to strengthen public safety.


Causes of Such Drastic Changes in Climate


Source:  4th National Climate Assessment (2017)


What does this actually mean for the future of environmental protection?

We believe that markets, not politics, will dictate the adoption of innovative technologies across industries. We are already seeing a profound increase in renewable energy projects around the world. The plummeting costs of renewable power and electricity storage, rise of electric cars and availability of cheap gas all point towards a decrease in emissions. Investments in renewables are increasing by an average 132% every year since 2013, unlocking an extra $10 billion for clean energy. In the seven years to 2015, wind and solar generation in the US reduced SO2, NOx and PM2.5 by 1, 0.6 and 0.05 million tons respectively. The reduction of these pollutants helped prevent an estimated 7,000 premature deaths and save $88 billion in public health and environmental impact expenditure.

Similar achievements are being made in the realm of sustainable agriculture, which is widely regarded as one of the safest ways to feed the world.

Choices made today will inevitably determine the magnitude of climate risks beyond the next few decades. We live in a rapidly changing world. The effects of climate change, such as heat waves, rising sea levels, and severe storms, are being felt globally. Whether you think man-made climate change exists or not, protecting the environment and the essential services it provides is a socially responsible and lucrative endeavor. Safe, clean and renewable solutions across industry restore natural capital by design and generate truly sustainable value.

We at Primal Group embrace innovative solutions to the world’s most significant challenges. By shaping the new green revolution in agriculture, our projects will drive job creation, investment opportunities and sustainable economic growth for generations to come.