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Earth’s changing climate has big implications for individuals, businesses, and policy makers. This collection draws together articles and reports on physical climate risk, sustainability, the energy transition, and approaches to face up to the challenges brought on by climate change.

Featured Insights

Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Driving CO2 emissions to zero (and beyond) with carbon capture, use, and storage

– Any pathway to mitigate climate change requires the rapid reduction of CO2 emissions and negative-emissions technologies to cut atmospheric concentrations. Technology and regulation will be the key.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Powering up sustainable energy

– Can the power industry simultaneously decarbonize generation, propel the transition to electric vehicles, and keep the lights... on?
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Feeding the world sustainably

– Green technologies, biotech advances, and artificial intelligence could help tame agricultural emissions and waste, while safeguarding... ocean resources.
Article

Banking imperatives for managing climate risk

– More than regulatory pressure is driving banks to manage climate risk. Financing a green agenda is also a commercial imperative—but... specialized skills are needed to protect balance sheets.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Climate math: What a 1.5-degree pathway would take

– Decarbonizing global business at scale is achievable, but the math is daunting.

Physical climate risk

Report - McKinsey Global Institute

Climate risk and response: Physical hazards and socioeconomic impacts

– How could Earth’s changing climate impact socioeconomic systems across the world in the next three decades? A yearlong, cross-disciplinary research effort at McKinsey & Company provides some answers.

 

Climate risk and response in Asia: Research preview

– Get an early view on how climate risk could affect the region, with a look at both physical hazards and socioeconomic impacts.

Could climate become the weak link in your supply chain?

– Greater frequency and severity of climate hazards can create more disruptions in global supply chains—interrupting production,... raising costs and prices, and hurting corporate revenues.

Reduced dividends on natural capital?

– The world’s stock of natural resources performs a range of services that are essential to human well-being. But climate change... is accelerating the depletion of natural capital.

Reckoning with the overlooked business risks of climate change

– Experts from the Woods Hole Research Center discuss how companies are missing the scope of mounting physical risks from climate... change.

A Mediterranean basin without a Mediterranean climate?

– The Mediterranean’s signature climate drives tourism and agriculture in the region. What impact is climate change likely to have?

Confronting climate risk

– The changing climate is poised to create a wide array of economic, business, and social risks over the next three decades. Leaders... should start integrating climate risk into their decision making now.

How will African farmers adjust to changing patterns of precipitation?

– Agriculture is critical to Africa’s growth and development, but climate change could destabilize local markets, curb economic... growth, and heighten risk for agricultural investors.

Will the world’s breadbaskets become less reliable?

– The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing vulnerabilities in the global food system which could be compounded by climate change risks.

‘Bring the problem forward’: Larry Fink on climate risk

– The physical impact of climate change will lead to a major capital reallocation, says the head of BlackRock, the world’s largest... asset manager.

Will mortgages and markets stay afloat in Florida?

– Flood risk is rising in Florida due to climate change. How exposed is residential real estate—both directly and indirectly—and... what can be done to manage the risks?

Can coastal cities turn the tide on rising flood risk?

– Coastal cities are on the front line of flooding. Two very different cities, Ho Chi Minh City and Bristol, help illustrate variations... in risks and approaches to adaptation.

Addressing climate change in a post-pandemic world

– The coronavirus crisis holds profound lessons that can help us address climate change—if we make greater economic and environmental... resiliency core to our planning for the recovery ahead.

Featured video

Video

Why a stable climate is important for our businesses and our lives

McKinsey Global Institute senior fellow Mekala Krishnan explains how climate impacts are nearer than you might think.

Sustainability blog

Quick takes on the business of sustainability from our experts at the forefront of today’s trends.

The energy transition

Interactive

Global Energy Perspective 2019

– The Global Energy Perspective Reference Case provides our view on how the energy transition will unfold.

 

Global Energy Perspective: Accelerated Transition

Our outlook reviews eight potential shifts that could accelerate the energy transition—from faster uptake of electric vehicles... to accelerated cost reduction for renewables—and the impact each shift could have on annual oil, gas, coal, and power demand to 2050.

Peak energy, peak oil, and the rise of renewables: An executive’s guide to the global energy system

– Global energy demand is headed toward a plateau over the next ten to 20 years, as the world focuses on electrification, energy... efficiency, and more service-driven economic growth.

The decoupling of GDP and energy growth: A CEO guide

– Energy intensity is decreasing, renewables are gaining, and new efficiencies are on the way. Here’s how to build the resilience... you need to navigate rapid change.

Industry perspectives

Interview

A power company’s potent vision: From neutral to negative emissions

– Drax Group drastically reduced its carbon footprint by shifting from coal to biomass. CEO Will Gardiner discusses the costs and... challenges to scaling up its model.
Article

Plugging in: What electrification can do for industry

– As the prices of renewable electricity and electric equipment continue to drop, industrial companies can capture cost-saving and... GHG-emission-reduction opportunities by planning the electrification of their operations.
Article

How to decarbonize global power systems

– Decarbonization is becoming a higher priority. Here is how it can be done—and how much it might cost.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Reimagining industrial operations

– Through innovation, advanced analytics, digitization, electrification, and process efficiencies, carbon-intensive operations underpinning... the global economy can shape a more sustainable future.
Article

Laying the foundation for zero-carbon cement

– The cement industry is a top source of CO2 emissions, but abatement pressures could prompt efforts to reimagine the... business.
Article

How airlines can chart a path to zero-carbon flying

– The coronavirus crisis will transform aviation, giving airlines their best chance yet to address climate change. Sustainable fuels... are a key part of that strategy.
Report

Reducing agriculture emissions through improved farming practices

– A marginal abatement cost curve offers a perspective on how 25 proven GHG-efficient farming technologies and practices could reduce... emissions by about 20 percent by 2050.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Water: A human and business priority

– Water stress increases risk for communities and businesses. Through proactive individual and collective action, businesses can... combat the water crisis.
Article

Climate risk and decarbonization: What every mining CEO needs to know

– Building a climate strategy won’t be quick or easy—but waiting is not an option.
Article

The future is now: How oil and gas companies can decarbonize

– As the pressure to act on climate change builds, the industry should consider a range of options.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Redefining the power industry

– Quick takes on the pressures posed by climate change—and potential responses.
Report

Fashion’s new must-have: Sustainable sourcing at scale

– Sustainable sourcing is fast becoming a top priority for fashion companies. A survey of sourcing executives reveals ambitious... targets—and highlights the transformation needed.
Article

Precision fisheries: Navigating a sea of troubles with advanced analytics

– Advanced analytics may help struggling fisheries thrive while simultaneously protecting endangered ocean resources.
Article

The drive toward sustainability in packaging—beyond the quick wins

– Can system-level approaches, including collaboration along the value chain, make our approach to packaging more sustainable?
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

The road to seamless urban mobility

– Will the coming mobility revolution make urban traffic better, or worse?
Article

Why, and how, utilities should start to manage climate-change risk

– Extreme weather events are exacting a high—and rising—price. Utilities need to devise and implement strategies to... adapt.

Regional perspectives

Video

Asia's energy transition

The future of the energy sector in Asia will likely be driven by renewables and innovative energy technology.

 

Carbon-neutral Poland 2050: Turning a challenge into an opportunity

– Achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 is within Poland’s grasp and could improve energy independence, contributing to the... development of new economic sectors.

Leading the battle against climate change: Actions for China

– China could adopt a climate response centered on mitigation, adapting the country to climate risks, and supporting global sustainable... economic development.

Germany’s energy transition at a crossroads

– Germany has been a leader in the transition toward a low-carbon-energy system, but it will still miss most of its energy-transition... targets for 2020. Urgent action is needed to get back on track.

Exploring an alternative pathway for Vietnam’s energy future

– Renewables have the potential to become the lowest-cost option for Vietnam to meet its energy needs.

Financing the transition

Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Five ways that ESG creates value

– Getting your environmental, social, and governance (ESG) proposition right links to higher value creation. Here’s why.

How a post-pandemic stimulus can both create jobs and help the climate

– The $10 trillion in stimulus measures that policy makers have allocated could be decisive for the world’s low-carbon transition.... Here’s how organizations can bring economic and environmental priorities together.

More than values: The value-based sustainability reporting that investors want

– Nonfinancial reports helped stimulate the growth of sustainable investing. Now investors are questioning current reporting practices—and... calling for changes that executives and board members must understand.

Fueling the energy transition: Opportunities for financial institutions

– As renewable-energy sources proliferate, power grids become smarter, and industries electrify, strong financial partners will... play a critical role in providing funding for a capital-intensive sector.

Technologies to watch

Article

Second-life EV batteries: The newest value pool in energy storage

– With continued global growth of electric vehicles (EV), a new opportunity for the power sector is emerging: stationary storage... powered by used EV batteries, which could exceed 200 gigawatt-hours by 2030.
Article

How residential energy storage could help support the power grid

– Household batteries could contribute to making the grid more cost effective, reliable, resilient, and safe—if retail battery... providers, utilities, and regulators can resolve delicate commercial, operational, and policy issues.
Article

Less carbon means more flexibility: Recognizing the rise of new resources in the electricity mix

– Thousands of megawatts of renewable resources—chiefly wind and solar—are in the works. What types of grid services... can these provide as electricity markets and policies evolve?
Article

Expanding electric-vehicle adoption despite early growing pains

– The latest analysis of our Electric Vehicle Index shows the global electric-light-vehicle industry continues to make solid progress.... To accelerate growth further, several hurdles need to be overcome.

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