These days, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is downright cheery about the economic prospects of addressing climate change. In a speech to a business-minded room at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance summit on Tuesday, Kerry insisted climate change presents an opportunity that could far surpass the tech boom of the 1990s: “This is a multitrillion-dollar market with billions of users worldwide.”
Acting on climate change isn’t just about preserving the planet for future generations, Kerry explained, but also recognizing “that clean energy is one of the greatest economic opportunities the world has ever seen.” We just need the right policies and governance to lead the way, according to Kerry. “There are opportunities literally everywhere you look.”
Kerry isn’t alone among Democrats who have increasingly framed climate change as a business opportunity. “This is the biggest new business opportunity in the history of the world,” former Vice President Al Gore said earlier this year. Ex-Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley liked to argue the same on the campaign trail during his brief run for president.
The positive messaging has less to do with the morals of climate change than it does with cold-hard cash to be made in transition to clean energy. But if it works to convince a few businesses to take the leap, then that’ll be progress.