Winners and Losers

Which sectors and companies stand to gain from a rise in the price of carbon emissions? How can we promote the emergence of these companies and sectors that will be the drivers of Swedish growth? And who are the losers? This study tries to address these questions.

Many companies that could be viewed as the losers in the event of a rise in carbon emissions prices have over fifty employees. The winning sectors, on the other hand, are dominated by small and startup companies that lack much of the influence large companies have. These companies are found in fields ranging from energy efficiency to systems-changing technology, which have quickly demonstrated how to make money out of climate adaptation.

The study also presents seven recommendations to companies that would like to know how to gain from the transition to a sustainable economy:

  • Create predictability. If a company knows what lies ahead, it is easier to make the required investments. Predictability also results in faster and more widespread adaptation. It is therefore beneficial to formulate long term climate goals with a clearly defined and gradually increasing carbon emissions price (or reduced quota within emissions trading).
  • Provide infrastructure. A hands-on example is the development and adaptation of the electrical grid for renewable and small-scale electricity production. Another is the overhaul of the network companies’ monopoly and the introduction of so-called net metering.
  • Invest in research and education. Everything points unanimously to a significant need for more people educated in areas such as energy efficiency, wind energy technology and bio energy.
  • Use BAT (Best available technology). Technology standards should be used as an instrument to reward the use of the most climate efficient technology available. It is, for example, reasonable that the environmental taxation and other environmental costs are differentiated in a way that takes actual climate impact into full consideration. State-owned companies could take the lead here.
  • Increase energy efficiency in publically-owned buildings and “miljonprogram” housing (a state driven project to build one million flats in ten years between 1965 and 1974). Use BAT to give the new winning sectors and companies a platform to build up markets and demonstrate new technology.
  • Facilitate legal processes. The clearest example is the granting of wind energy permits, where the process can be shortened and further reduced to one-stage procedure.
  • Listen to the winners – too. It is particularly important to ensure that it is not only the larger and penalised companies that sit at the table for discussions on systems reform and regulation changes.