China’s and India’s rapid growth and push toward economic progress and better lifestyles for their citizens will cause the ongoing depletion of natural resources. Consequently, control of raw materials will be a vital strategic issue, often leading to preferential bilateral agreements that might contradict multilateral arrangements. Governments will attempt to put more land into grain production and use subsidies and price controls. Scarcity will also drive up the price of consumer alcohol. Protecting materials from theft (e.g., cutting electrical wires to steal copper) will become a priority. Recycling and recovery will be strong business opportunities. As fuel production from food accelerates, farming will become attractive and profitable. The global shortage of potable water will be rediscovered as a priority issue and constraint on global advancement and well-being. Government investment in desalination and reverse osmosis technologies will grow along with emphasis on water conservation.
In light of public concern over climate change, interest in energy-saving technologies will grow. Unusual natural phenomena will be attributed to global warming, a relationship that will be supported by a stream of scientific and nonscientific proof. Public perceptions will lead to changes in living patterns. For example, the population of dry, arid and hot climate areas might shift due to water shortages and limitations on the use of air conditioning. Such changes will occur even if it becomes generally accepted that global warming is only slightly dependent on human activity.
Africa might offer the most opportunity for green investments and accumulation of carbon credits. Eventually, as governments frown on the transfer of resources resulting from carbon trading, wealthy countries and international operating companies will make agreements (both multilateral and bilateral) that create a framework to protect the environment. Key sectors for industry creation and expansion include public health; sustainability; saving energy, water and natural resources; biotechnology, genomics and nano-technology; and the creation and promotion of eco-products, services and processes. For example, sustainable water recycling technologies will spawn new industries, and governments will adopt and encourage more advanced pollution-control policies, particularly for heavy metals and engineered (non-naturally occurring) substances.
This is an excerpt from Dr. Czinkota’s book Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead, co-authored by Dr. Ilkka Ronkainen.
Michael R Czinkota and Ilkka A Ronkainen, Global Business: Positioning Ventures Ahead (New York: Routledge, 2011), pg. 229-230.