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[Climate Change] Business opportunities in 2050

I read in New Scientist's a forecast of what life would be like in 2050 if we had a society with virtually zero carbon emissions. I wondered what the business opportunities would be.

What life would be like in the UK in 2050: summers would be hotter than ever, with more than ten days a year with a maximum temperature of 40 degrees Celsius. Even if we achieve zero emissions by the middle of the century, the time lag is expected to be over 1.5 degrees Celsius at least once because the emissions we have already produced will not suddenly disappear. The IPCC report says that even the most optimistic scenario will not prevent this "one-time 1.5°C global warming" before the end of the century.

As for how traffic is going, most cars are electric, and that too with car sharing. So not many households have a huge charging unit for their own vehicle. Many short-haul flights will be replaced by trains. But long-haul flights are predicted to continue to increase after this pandemic. And about 25% of the fuel used in these flights will not come from fossil fuels but will be replaced by biofuels and synthetic fuels. From this point of view, electric cars and related car-sharing and self-driving businesses are likely to expand in the future. Small airports for short-haul flights will become more challenging to operate.

Land use will mean that the UK will no longer need many farms because fewer people will eat real meat and plant more to decarbonise. A fifth of farms will no longer be needed in the UK, and the proportion of woodland across the UK will increase from 13% to 18%. The demand for timber as a building material has been growing recently. We now have the technology to build high-rise buildings out of wood, so the need for timber will continue to increase, and so will the forestry and wood-related businesses.

What will happen to the lives of ordinary people? The energy consumption and insulation of their homes will improve. And with more and more environmentally friendly packaging, households will reduce waste by 50%. The pandemic has made many people more health-conscious, and it seems that the use of synthetic meat in the diet will become more common. As we see with vegetarian monk food (Shyojin ryouri) in Japan, we may not be allowed to eat meat, but we have the desire to eat meat, so there will continue to be many projects to produce synthetic beef for people who want to eat meat but cannot.

It wasn't such a surprising change, but 30 years from now, the world will be very different from today. This scenario does not include social changes such as a world with a shrinking population and a large population that can only survive on a basic income, nor does it include scenarios of revolutionary energy innovations such as solid-state batteries and cold fusion. It is very possible that the world will not look like the one described here. What will the world look like in the future?

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