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2 Scenarios for the Future of Sustainability in 2024

January 25, 2024
2 Scenarios for the Future of Sustainability in 2024

As the 2024 US presidential election approaches, businesses are closely monitoring various scenarios that may unfold and impact the landscape of sustainability, particularly within the ESG practices. What are the most prevalent scenarios and their potential ramifications on businesses committed to ESG?

1st Scenario: Trump’s Return to Office

In this scenario, former President Donald Trump makes a successful comeback, securing the Republican nomination and winning the presidency. Trump, known for his pro-fossil fuels stance, could roll back some of the environmental regulations implemented during the Biden’s administration. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the CHIPS Act (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America) may maintain their course, focusing on industrial policy rather than aggressive climate measures. A prioritization of economic growth, industrial goals, job creation, and national competitiveness, over aggressive climate-related initiatives including regulations, incentives, and investments in renewable energy, emissions reduction, and other environmentally friendly practices is the more plausible scenario.

Trump’s pro-fossil fuels agenda may benefit traditional Energy sectors. Renewable energy companies might face challenges, but market forces and technological advances could continue driving the growth of clean energy despite policy shifts.

The IRA and CHIPS Act may remain intact, sustaining the reshoring trend and boosting domestic manufacturing, aligning with sustainability goals by reducing carbon footprints associated with global supply chains.

Trump’s administration may not prioritize stringent ESG reporting requirements. Sustainability-focused businesses may have less ESG disclosure requirements to showcase their commitment to ESG principles.

2nd Scenario: Biden’s Win and Democratic Leadership Continues

In this scenario, the Democratic Party retains the presidency and maintains control of the White House. The Democratic leadership’s commitment to clean energy and sustainability will remain steadfast.

It is supposed for the Democratic party to continue support renewable energy projects, research, and development, providing a conducive environment for businesses in the clean technology sector.

The United States will remain actively engaged in global climate initiatives and the expectations for international collaboration on climate change mitigation efforts will increase, impacting businesses with global operations as they align with evolving international standards.

Stricter ESG reporting requirements persist, emphasizing transparency and accountability for businesses. Certification and adherence to sustainability standards become crucial for businesses seeking to demonstrate their commitment to ESG principles.

The focus on infrastructure development, including sustainable and resilient infrastructure projects will continue. Businesses related to green infrastructure, such as renewable energy projects and sustainable transportation, may experience increased opportunities for growth.

Environmental regulations and standards aimed at reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable practices will remain a priority.

Businesses should anticipate and adapt to potential changes in regulatory requirements, ensuring compliance with evolving environmental policies.

Businesses involved in cutting-edge research and development in sustainable solutions may benefit from government support and incentives. Increased funding for innovation and research in clean energy technologies will be expected.

Last but not least, the administration will continue to emphasize social impact and community engagement. Businesses with robust corporate sustainability initiatives may find increased alignment with government priorities and potential collaboration opportunities.

While this scenario suggests a continuation of certain policy trends established during the Biden administration, it’s important to note that specific policy details may vary based on the scenario of a new Democratic leader’s agenda and the evolving political landscape at the time of the election.

As the 2024 US election approaches, businesses need to anticipate and adapt to potential shifts in the political landscape. Navigating the intersection of politics and sustainability requires flexibility, proactive engagement, and a commitment to ESG principles. Regardless of the scenario, businesses that prioritize sustainability are likely to play a crucial role in shaping a resilient and responsible future.

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