Background Note | HBS Case Collection | October 2016 (Revised July 2017)

Climate Change in 2017: Implications for Business

by Rebecca M. Henderson, Sophus A. Reinert, Polina Dekhtyar and Amram Migdal


This note provides general information about climate change and its implications for business. Included is an overview of climate change science and a number of its impacts, including rising sea levels, changing weather patterns and extreme weather, pressure on water and food, political and security risks, human health risks, and impact on wildlife and ecosystems. Next, responses to climate change are outlined, including improvements in energy efficiency, moving away from fossil fuels, changes in land use and agriculture practices, and geoengineering. The note concludes with the debate over who should pay and how much should be spent to mitigate and adapt to climate change and the implications for the private sector.

Keywords: climate change; Environmental Accounting; Agribusiness; Economic Growth; Energy Conservation; Energy Generation; Renewable Energy; Energy Sources; Non-Renewable Energy; Globalized Markets and Industries; National Security; Government Legislation; Operations; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Problems and Challenges; Risk and Uncertainty; Natural Disasters; Natural Environment; Environmental Sustainability; Pollution and Pollutants; Science-Based Business; Weather and Climate Change; Society; Technology;


Henderson, Rebecca M., Sophus A. Reinert, Polina Dekhtyar, and Amram Migdal. "Climate Change in 2017: Implications for Business." Harvard Business School Background Note 317-032, October 2016. (Revised July 2017.)