Climate change: 'the investment opportunity of the century'
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Virtual.Drupa marked Earth Day 2021 with a compelling keynote presentation from climate change expert Dr Gabrielle Walker.
Walker said that despite the travails of the Covid-19 pandemic, the issues around climate change had gained more attention over the past 18 months.
“The momentum is starting to feel like it’s unstoppable,” she said.
While some aspects were “really quite alarming” – such as the dramatic rise in global temperatures since 1880 – she also described it as “the investment opportunity of the century”.
Walker stated: “Climate change is already here with us, but some parts of it are also very exciting, because the momentum, the energy and the possibilities open up so many new ways to do business.”
A raft of major climate-related announcements have been made on the topic this week, including the UK prime minister Boris Johnson bringing forward the UK’s targets with a pledge cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035, the EU agreeing a landmark climate change law yesterday, and US president Joe Biden pledging earlier today that the US will nearly halve its emissions by 2030.
Walker said there would be “a massive reallocation of capital”.
“Between now and 2025 there’s going to be some very big policy shifts, and it’s going to be important to be engaging with this and also to be ready for it.”
With specific reference to the printing industry, she commented: “For many of the solutions we need to come up with, the world is your market.
“It could be anything from labelling and packaging and tracking – we need to know what the history of a product has been to know what emissions it has caused along the way, and that’s something everyone’s going to need,” she explained.
“Then using new materials – what kind of new materials can we use that can actually give different capacities so that you can be more creative about how you use them as well as making sure they have low emissions, and what role can recycling play?”
Her keynote address will be available for replay on the Virtual.Drupa site, with the conference programme and web sessions continuing for the rest of today and concluding tomorrow afternoon.
Drupa organisers said that some 6,000 visitors from 55 countries had engaged with the event yesterday, with more than 19,000 registered visitors in total.