Aspen Ideas: Climate 2024 | Brunswick Group

Aspen Ideas: Climate 2024

Five Key Takeaways for Businesses

In partnership with the City of Miami Beach, Aspen Institute’s Aspen Ideas: Climate 2024 convened policymakers, scientific experts, corporate leaders, innovators, artists, influencers, and community members to engage in discussions and collaborative efforts to address the challenges posed by climate change.  

Brunswick was actively involved in multiple panels during the event, contributing insights and expertise on various aspects of climate change from effective communication of climate issues to innovative strategies for mitigation and adaptation.  Below are the five key takeaways for businesses from the event. 

1. Clean energy is heading in the right direction  

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BILL) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) have led to unprecedented investment in renewable energy sources in the United States. These landmark pieces of legislation mark a significant step toward addressing climate change and promoting clean energy. Despite this progress, several critical issues persist: reliance on fossil fuels, an increased demand for power and modernizing the energy grid. Permitting renewable energy projects, including new transmission lines, can be a lengthy process with complex regulations and inconsistent enforcement, leading to delays and increased costs. The substantial energy requirements of data centers, coupled with the energy-intensive nature of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, present ongoing challenges to carbon reduction efforts. Addressing these challenges will require continued legislative action, technological innovation, private financing and collaboration among government, industry and community stakeholders. 

2. Transitioning to a lower-carbon economy goes beyond fossil fuels  

While discussions around climate mitigation often focus on the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, there are other significant opportunities for emission reduction that are sometimes overlooked. Decarbonization roadmaps for the built environment are becoming increasingly evident, with solutions emerging in critical sectors such as commercial real estate, agriculture, refrigerants and more. These sectors hold considerable potential in achieving global mitigation goals and must be actively addressed alongside the transition to cleaner energy sources. As the economy transitions to lower-carbon energy sources, demand for wind and solar energy will continue to grow, and small-scale nuclear power generation will emerge as an option for energy production. Recognizing and implementing these emission reduction opportunities are crucial steps in the fight against climate change.  

3. Private capital is finding a market  

Combating climate change requires the swift and widespread adoption of alternative energy solutions. While government funding is essential, more is needed to meet the scale of the challenge. Private capital infusion is crucial to accelerate the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies. Private investors, including venture capitalists, corporations and institutional funds, are essential in supplementing government funding. Their involvement brings additional financial resources, expertise and market-driven strategies to accelerate the commercialization and adoption of alternative energy technologies. As demand for clean energy creates a bigger market and greater demand, private funding will follow the potential for financial returns.  

4. Policy and regulatory stability is critical   

Despite widespread concern among Americans about climate change and the availability of technology to mitigate its effects, several barriers hinder progress. These barriers include political polarization, vested interests in traditional energy sectors, economic concerns about the transition to renewable energy and challenges in implementing comprehensive policies at local, national and international levels. The private sector seeks policy stability across a divided political landscape and fragmented domestic and global regulatory landscape. The US elections in 2024 at the federal, state and community levels will significantly impact the direction and trajectory of climate mitigation and adaptation policy.  

5. Youth and underrepresented communities need to be heard   

Adapting to and mitigating climate change is a broad societal effort incorporating policymakers, the private sector and governments at all levels and communities. In many instances, youth and underrepresented communities bear the brunt of environmental injustices and are disproportionately affected by climate change impacts. These groups are eager to have their voices heard and ensure they are part of the process. Their perspectives bring valuable insights into crafting effective climate policies that address the diverse needs of society. However, systemic barriers, including limited access to resources and political power, often marginalize their voices in decision-making processes. Addressing this disparity requires intentional efforts to include youth and underrepresented communities in climate discussions, ensuring their concerns, experiences and solutions are central to shaping sustainable and equitable climate action.  

You can download a copy of this note here.

To continue the conversation 

Michael Fitzpatrick  
Partner, Washington, DC  
[email protected]

Michael is a Partner at Brunswick Group, where he provides public affairs and regulatory counseling across the industrial and energy sectors. His focus is on technology, industrials and energy and the environment. 

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