From Ep37 The Climapreneur Show- In Conversation with Anshuman Bapna, Founder Terra.do
“Whether you like it or not, you will be working in the Climate Economy most likely in the next 10-15 years.”-Climate Economy- Once-in- a- lifetime opportunity, maybe even bigger than the Internet.
The question that I would ask everyone is that do you feel that you individually who’s listening to this podcast have somehow a stake in the internet economy today? It might be to the extent that, look, I can’t live my life without ordering food on Zomato, right?
But then you have a stake in the internet economy and there’s a strong likelihood that you’re reliant on a bunch of different services that are actually coming from the internet economy and if one day, if I pull out the internet economy you will actually find your life significantly less richer.
This means that all of us now especially in the metropolitan areas and maybe even beyond that have a stake in the internet economy right now.
What I’m saying is that the climate economy is going to be just as big and just as meaningful to your lives, maybe even more.
First the economics part of it, back in 1999, when I started my internet company at that time the internet was this cute little thing on the side. It was kind of this new exciting sector may be something to do with media, connected to that but that is it.
We thought when Netflix came along that Netflix was a competitor to blockbuster. But what we are seeing with the Oscars, right? Netflix is a competitor to the Hollywood. So, Hollywood is kind of like this: the big established gorilla and blockbuster was this tiny little thing that we thought Netflix was competing with.
That’s what I think has happened to the internet. The internet has become now the underpinning of everything we do including our politics and now if I say, internet is also a significant player in our political systems nobody will bat an eyelid, but 5 years ago we would have said, Oh! But no, not really! Are you sure?
So that’s where the internet is and roughly about 17 to 20% of the world’s GDP is connected to the internet economy or indirectly coming from there. Roughly 300 to 400 million people work in the internet economy depending on how you count. The corresponding numbers for climate in various different ways that you look at is that roughly about 7% of the world’s GDP right now is the green economy.
That number is growing dramatically fast and my suspicion is that in the next 10-15 years we’ll get to the point where that will also become 15 to 20% of the world’s GDP.
Why is the contribution of the Green Economy to the world’s GDP going to rise from 7% to about 20% in the coming decade?
We’re talking about fundamentally transforming energy and energy is the underpinning of civilization. It’s not just some little sector on the side. We are all kind of unaware of it because it’s like air but we’re talking about fundamentally transforming energy which is about 11 to 12% of the world’s GDP, completely transforming agriculture which is in terms of GDP somewhat similar but in terms of number of people employed especially in a place like India even more so.
We are talking about fundamentally transforming transportation, manufacturing construction and even horizontals like finance, how capital flows from one place to the other. If you add all this up and I am sure there’s some double counting, we are talking about half of the world’s GDP being transformed not like incrementally changed but transformed in the next 10-20 years.
And why transformed? Not because we are really good people at heart and we feel bad about the environment. It’s because the climate crisis is going to inundate our cities. Bombay will be underwater up to Powai or Ghatkopar. We’re not talking about, Oh! Let’s do some CSR stuff on the side. This is life and death. And life and death not just for the poor people which it always is but even for the rich and the elites.
You might be sitting inside a financial institution and being forced to now look at your loan portfolio and assess climate risk whether you like it or not, whether you deny climate change or not, and so on.
To me this is therefore going to be a massive part of every economic activity that we do and therefore because every crisis has an opportunity therefore to me this also feels like a once in a lifetime even bigger than internet opportunity to transform economies, to transform the way we do different systems like energy and agriculture and so on.
Link to full episode