Dr. Jonathan Foley, 50, executive director for Project Drawdown, joined me for a discussion about climate change (watch in the video player above). His statement, “This may be the single biggest business opportunity in human history,” sounds like hyperbole but there may be no one better qualified to make that statement correctly.
With a PhD in atmospheric sciences from the University of Wisconsin and having spent three decades doing and managing research into climate change, he is certainly qualified on the science. His case that the business opportunity is there hinges on this key premise:
We literally have to reinvent our energy systems, our food systems, our manufacturing, our cities. Everything! You can look at that is like, ‘Crap, that’s a really big problem.’ I think we have to look at as “Wow, what a great opportunity!” especially if we do it right. We can improve lives. We can reduce inequity. We could solve some of our other social ills if we do it wisely. And we could build a better world for future generations and for ourselves.
If we’re going to have to reinvent so much of our modern world, the investment opportunity does begin to be interesting. Clearly, the need for investment capital is there. What about getting a return on that capital?