We’ve all heard the scenario over and over again. Climate change threatens not only the planet, but the very survival of the human species. In fact, clean energy lags put the world at risk of a six degree celsius global temperature rise. Non-renewable resources and technologies that have been essential to our advancement and industrialization may ultimately be what takes us out. Process automation, work-from-home initiatives, and going paperless are just a few of many sustainability initiatives that can positively impact the planet and your bottom line.

Political, market, and infrastructural barriers remain, dragging progress toward a clean economy — but your business has the power to mitigate these constraints. And in this Green Business Bureau article, we demonstrate how. We explain how your business can support a political, market, and infrastructural reform to support renewable energy technologies and clean energy.

Political, market, and infrastructure barriers to a clean energy transition

here have been long-standing barriers preventing effective implementation of a clean energy transition. Political maneuvering, market demands, and infrastructure challenges have made this shift nearly impossible.

Political barriers to a clean energy transition

Of course the political and economic barriers to implementing renewable energy transitions for businesses are well established. From a political perspective, many leaders are focused on short-term, local policies and benefits that can bring about quick changes and lead to further election victories.

Market barriers to a clean energy transition

Scientists have been aware of and advocating for change for over 50 years now. Evidence shows that even many of the fossil fuel companies have been well aware of the damaging impacts of their products. For decades they’ve lobbied against reform and injected confusing discourse into the public sphere. Plastic bags present another example — eight states have bans on plastic bags, but twice as many have laws protecting them, all due to .

Infrastructure barriers to a clean energy transition

If possible, the economic challenges may be more profound than the political ones. Non-renewable energy sources are an integral part of how our society is built. Much of the electrical grid is built upon a centralized system of energy production, whereas many renewable sources are decentralized. This means an entire restructuring and retrofitting of the energy grid is in order, all while keeping current production levels steady. This is no easy feat and is only one of many examples of the infrastructure investments and challenges needed to make it all a reality.

Overcoming Very Real Challenges

As daunting as all of this is, many business leaders are making real strides in overcoming these challenges. Believe it or not, change is on the horizon. Today, research and development into renewable energy sources have driven prices down and made them more economically viable. There is real momentum both economically and politically to make changes, even if they are hard and occur in piecemeal steps.

For businesses, making these changes needs deliberate and intentioned action. For instance, some organizations — including Green Business Bureau — are calling on businesses to divest their companies from stocks, bonds, and investment funds that may contribute to climate change, as well as move their assets into similar investments that seek to address climate issues. This business move can promote development and investment in green tools and energy — pretty much anything that moves us away from fossile fuels — that will ultimately help our planet.

As the impacts of a changing climate become more of a reality, businesses are starting to see it reflected in their costs. For instance, some may be starting to see higher insurance rates and insurance companies assess the increased risks of climate change-fueled mega natural disasters. Certain business decisions can help drive these costs down while also contributing to a solution over time.

Of course, overcoming these challenges will not be easy, but stay the course and keep your head up. Political change comes from political action, so ensure you support politicians who support your views. Plastic and oil lobbyists and the policies they prop up may be economically good in the short-term for a select number of people, but they are bad in the long-term for everyone. In the same way that you don’t want to support lobbyists that don’t support your views, you can take action in the marketplace. Divest your company from non-green sources and urge others to as well. Finally, you can make infrastructural changes — installing renewable energy sources onsite such as solar panels, ground-source heat pumps, or EV charging stations.


There are still very many, very real barriers to a complete transition to renewable energy sources, including political, market, and infrastructure barriers. This process will take time, but there are things that businesses can do now to help push the change forward. Many of these adjustments can even have long-term financial benefits for the companies that work towards enacting them.

Author: Sam Bowman

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