Wind turbines at the Energy Park Eemshaven in northern Holland. The wind park has more than 90 wind turbines, mostly operated by Dutch companies, making it one of the largest of its kind in Europe. Photo: Energising the Future.

The environment and economic growth can go hand in hand in a clean economy. By finding innovative solutions, businesses can expand and strengthen their position in the market that help tackle the effects of climate change. This is proving to be big business.

The implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement will unlock $13.5 trillion in economic activity. This means that climate adaptation generates hard currency and sustainable job growth.

The combination of a clean and healthy economy is the formula for success that must underpin our approach to tackling climate issues. Public-private collaboration and transnational partnerships can lead to climate-smart solutions and innovations that prevent the worst impacts of climate change while helping to mitigate its effects.

Climate is big business

Climate-smart solutions are big business. In 2015, global clean energy investments rose to $329 billion. Employment in the solar industry has grown 20 percent each year. With this rapidly growing industry comes more opportunity to transition toward strong, resilient economies and societies that are healthy, equitable and innovative.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands is a front-runner in promoting climate-smart solutions. Take for example:

  • The Waterboxx™, which enables trees and plants grow in the drought;
  • Solaroad, cutting-edge technology that uses road surfaces to generate solar power;
  • Offshore wind capacity, which the Netherland’s is projected to increase from 1,000 MW today to 4,500 MW by 2023;
  • and the Netherlands’ ambition to become a circular economy by 2050.

California and the Netherlands

The Netherlands feels great affinity with California’s approach to climate change. They both see that active climate policy is not only necessary, it’s commercially attractive.

California and the Netherlands have been partners on e-mobility for a number of years: The Coast to Coast E-Mobility Connection promotes a knowledge and innovation exchange between the U.S. and Dutch government, universities and industry. The cluster also helps to position private organizations in the respective smart E-mobility markets to find new business opportunities.

On May 24, the Netherlands and California will host the “Climate Is Big Business” climate conference in San Francisco. Businesses, governments and civil society will come together to discuss climate-smart solutions and their successful business models.

California Secretary for Environmental Protection, Matt Rodriquez, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. of California, and Netherlands Minister for Environment, Sharon Dijksma, will be attending the conference. Speakers include Tesla, Dutch DNB bank, and climate expert Professor Guus Velders.