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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.

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The 1.5-degree challenge

– Holding warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels could limit the most dangerous and irreversible effects of climate change.
Article

The zero-carbon car: Abating material emissions is next on the agenda

– The automotive industry could abate 66 percent of emissions from their material production at no extra cost by 2030—if industry... participants work together and start now.
Report

Fashion on climate

– How the fashion industry can urgently act to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions
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

Climate math: What a 1.5-degree pathway would take

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

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Collection

McKinsey on Climate Change

This special downloadable collection brings together recent McKinsey research and perspectives on the climate risks the world must confront and actions to reduce emissions.

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.

 

Will infrastructure bend or break under climate stress?

– Infrastructure is the backbone of the global economy, connecting people, enhancing quality of life, and promoting health and safety.... But climate change is revealing infrastructure vulnerabilities.

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.

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?

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.

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.

BUSINESS LEADERS' RESPONSE

Article - McKinsey Quarterly

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.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

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.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

‘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.

THE PANDEMIC AND CLIMATE CHANGE

Article - McKinsey Global Institute

COVID-19 and climate change expose dangers of unstable supply chains

– With the world undergoing its second “once in a generation” disruption in 12 years, a reappraisal of supply chains is in order.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

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.
Article

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.

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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.

Industry perspectives

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

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

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

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

The European recycling landscape—the quiet before the storm?

– Before plastics recycling in Europe can scale up, the industry needs to overcome sizable obstacles. Our survey helps illustrate... what companies can do to achieve their aspirations.
Article

Plastics recycling: Using an economic-feasibility lens to select the next moves

– The Plastics Recovery and Reuse model helps identify the most effective moves to boost plastics recycling, using analysis of... fully integrated economics across the value chain.
Article

The 21st-century cement plant: Greener and more connected

– The cement plant of the future will embrace digitization and sustainability trends to earn a competitive advantage and build resilience.
Article

McKinsey Electric Vehicle Index: Europe cushions a global plunge in EV sales

– McKinsey’s recent analysis of global electric-vehicle markets shows both challenges and opportunities ahead.
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.
Survey

Survey: Consumer sentiment on sustainability in fashion

– Engagement in sustainability has deepened during the COVID-19 crisis, with European consumers wanting fashion players to act responsibly... and consider the social and environmental impacts of their businesses.
Article

Biodiversity: The next frontier in sustainable fashion

– It’s time for the apparel industry to radically reduce the industry’s contribution to biodiversity loss. Here are... four interventions that can make the biggest impact.
Report

Time for change: How to use the crisis to make fashion sourcing more agile and sustainable

– COVID-19 has sent shockwaves through the fashion industry’s global sourcing and production operations. A survey of sourcing executives... reveals their immediate response to the crisis and details strategies to reshape sourcing for a demand-driven, sustainable future.

Regional perspectives

Report - McKinsey Global Institute

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.

 

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.

The energy transition

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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.

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.

Five Fifty: High stakes for stakeholder capitalism

– As environmental, social, and governance issues become more urgent, companies are looking to create both profits and progress.

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.

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