Doing business without costing the planet is very critical. It all starts with appreciating some vital facts on the intersection of business on the one hand and the environment and hashtagclimatechange on the other hand. Three socio-economic production and consumption systems underpin nearly any business – food, infrastructure, and energy – are responsible for the most significant pressures on biodiversity and ecosystems.
For instance, approximately 80% of threatened and near-threatened species are currently endangered by these three systems that underpin nearly all areas of business. This degradation costs Africa over $60billion each year. The global economy lost up to $210billion last year due to climate change risks. Africa is on track to lose up to 15% of GDP before 2030 because of climate change.
These risks send a simple message – climate change and degradation have moved from being a fringe threat to a core threat to economic productivity. And when economies suffer, purchasing power falls, demand dwindles, and businesses suffer. On the flip side, implementing climate resilience in the three socio-economic production and consumption systems can create business opportunities worth more than 10 trillion dollars globally and create 395 million jobs.
An investment of $1 in ecological approaches provides a return of up to $30 – a 30-fold return. For example, climate-resilient food systems, for example, the African organic foods market pays 2-3times more than conventional foods. This is a green light for businesses to be formulated around offering sustainable solutions that help countries enforce the Paris Agreement commitments. But the critical question is how businesses in Africa can tap into these enterprise opportunities to implement sustainability in Africa.
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