New York-based merchant bank Lehman Brothers have produced an excellent overview of the business and economics of climate change (PDF). If you have any interest in the economics of dealing with climate change, and want an informed overview of the drivers of political and commercial change, this is a very good place to start. I don’t agree with everything they have to say (they’re far too dismissive of electric vehicles, for instance – I reckon EVs have the potential be a disruptive technology), but the sectoral and country by country analysis of investment opportunities is fascinating, and their general take on the issue is very close to my own. From the conclusions:
The size of the carbon market globally, as measured by the value of permits issued, could, on a conservative estimate, be over $100bn by 2020 or thereabouts. This assumes that the United States, Japan, and China join the EU in moving to an emissions trading scheme covering around 50% of their total emissions. Annual turnover would be a multiple of that figure. This compares with the US Treasury market which currently stands around $2 trillion.
They put the chances of an international deal including China and India at 75% (up from 50% in an earlier report), and expect share prices to begin to track relative carbon intensity – with carbon-light companies doing better. Recommended reading.