As much as we like to think of technology as our savior, it’s still up for debate whether or not it can save us from the worst effects of climate change. A Harvard study examining technology’s impact in mitigating climate damage to U.S. agriculture concluded, “we cannot simply innovate our way out of danger,” according to economist and study co-author Jacob Moscona. The researchers estimate that tech has mitigated about 20 percent of potential U.S. economic damage from climate change since 1960. Twenty percent is not negligible, but it’s not the kind of help you might expect.
The researchers estimated that tech could mitigate only 13 percent of projected economic damage from climate change by 2100. While the research focused on American agriculture, a similar argument could apply to climate change-focused innovation in other industries, such as commercial real estate. Sure, technology can help us be more efficient, but reaching our net zero goals will be hard to achieve without significant, painful investment.
Despite the pessimism of some, investment in climate technology is growing at a supersonic pace in nearly every global industry. This is true in commercial real estate as well. Last year was the first time that investment in clean energy equaled global investment in fossil fuels, according to data from Bloomberg’s commodity research arm. 2022 also marked the first year that investment in clean energy surpassed $1 trillion, with an increase of more than $250 billion from the previous year. These staggering numbers will only get bigger as federal,
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