Dr. Arthur Lerner-Lam Discusses Investing to Save the Planet
In a Q&A published for Forbes, Dr. Arthur Lerner-Lam, Academic Director for the Master of Science in Sustainability Science program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, discussed the role technology and technological innovation play in addressing some of the challenges mentioned in the recent United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and how companies think about investing in CleanTech, sustainable investing, and the role universities play in addressing global challenges.
There’s going to be tremendous emphasis on the technical R&D required to address climate issues, says Dr. Lerner-Lam, identifying three focal areas: the need for basic engineering research to develop methods to produce clean power; accelerated development of technologies to clean microplastic pollution from the oceans, extract excess carbon dioxide from the air, and clean polluted waterways; and technical innovation on the finance and investment side.
On the influence climate reports have on how companies invest in CleanTech, Dr. Lerner-Lam says, “We need to write about how increases in population and standards of living worldwide might affect the markets needed to solve some of our global problems. When companies think about investing, there’s a line between developing technologies that increase global standards of living versus developing technologies that will both increase living standards and solve planetary problems.”