Getting versed in climate change will get you 5 steps ahead of other founders. Nope, I’m not going share 15 insights on climate change.
Instead, I’ll share 10 years of raw product development wisdom so you can disco dance with stakeholders, legislation and financial incentives. Just like John Travolta dances with Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction.
That’s a crisis. Indeed for the climate, but there’s a deeper underlying issue: Entrepreneurs missing the contextual awareness needed for long-term success.
Why? Given the urgency of the EU’s climate change agenda, legislation and financial incentives are no longer mere technicalities. They will empower governing entities to reward or penalise your operations more directly than ever. I am speaking from both first and second hand experience.
You’re the problem
When you do business, you need two things:
After researching the proptech and carbon capture industries for months, a clear pattern emerges:
The EU is implementing robust legislation and incentives, capable of rewarding or penalising businesses based on their operations.
For instance: The real estate industry will get triple taxed for not fulfilling multiple climate goals by 2030 in the EU.
Without this contextual awareness, you would have no idea why your ship was sinking.
Doesn’t that sound like a bloody horror movie?
Picture your venture as a horror movie. Climate change is the plot. Your choices shape survival. Legislative literacy and strategic positioning are key. Adapt or face consequences.
Ok, I’m not going to write a horror movie. However, the point is: Contextual awareness allows you to capitalise on opportunities effectively. More importantly, it opens your eye to valuable business synergies in the market that are otherwise hidden without this sense.
How do I gain high leverage contextual awareness?
Considering the urgency of the climate change agenda, it’s crucial to recognise that legislation and financial incentives aren’t mere technicalities.
They represent the laws shaping opportunities and the likelihood of your success.
Ignorance is not an option.
You need two things to build high leverage contextual awareness:
An awareness of the entities you must engage with, and the rules that govern these interactions.
The vocabulary and reasoning structure that enables you to articulate solid arguments and value propositions.
Fundamentally, that’s it.
The knowledge is freely available. But, it requires a little more effort than watching youtube. You must go to the source. Beyond mere news headlines.
My best tip to get ahead: spend a little time reading reports and legislation. Don’t read to absorb the contents, but to paint a picture:
Who is who, and who is dancing with who — entity awareness.
Categories of information and data must you appeal to — reasoning structure.
Think about it: if less than 1% of founders mention sustainability in their funding pitches, they are missing this valuable context.
This is your opportunity to get ahead.
Get versed in climate change
Delving into climate change reports can feel overwhelming, but they’re a gold mine of insight when you understand the context of the market and its governing entities.
Luckily, a holistic understanding of climate change is what will give you the most bang for the buck. For your convenience, I’ve compiled an overview of useful information categories to engage with including a list of resources below.
Emissions data: understand the driving numbers.
Climate adaptation: practical application of strategies.
Fossil fuel production: energy industry dynamics.
Climate finance: how climate goals are facilitated.
Health impacts: fundamental driver of our fear.
Pro report reading tip: Be patience and take your time studying the table of contents. It will help you navigate information quicker, allow you to focus on what is relevant to you, and give you a map of the context you must reason within.
Remember: It’s about being a conscious player.
How come founders don’t give a crap about sustainability? by Haje Kamps. “Everyone talks a good game, but fewer than 1% of founders mention sustainability in their fundraising docs.”
Production Gap Report by UNEP, SEI, Climate Analytics, E3G, IISD. Proposes that top fossil fuel producers plan to extract more coal, oil, and gas despite climate promises, which is inconsistent with the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal.
Climate Equality: A Planet for the 99% by Oxfam. Talks about disproportionate impact of climate breakdown on the poorest and most marginalised groups, and the responsibility of wealthy individuals and countries to prevent catastrophic consequences.
Early Warnings for All: Executive Action Plan 2023–2027 by WMO. Outlines a strategy to build a global early warning system coverage with a $3.1 billion investment.
Burning Billions: Record Public Money for Fossil Fuels Impeding Climate Action by IISD. Provides latest data on global public financial flows to fossil fuels and clean energy in advance of UN Climate Change Conference COP 28.
The 2023 Global Report of the Lancet Countdown by Lancet Countdown. Tracks the relationship between health and climate change across five key domains and 47 indicators, providing an assessment of the links between health and climate change.
The State of Climate Action: Major Course Correction Needed from +1.5% to −7% Annual Emissions by WEF, BCG. Offers a macro view across nations, corporates, technologies, and financing, and assesses where climate action is falling short.