Just 20 years into the 21st century, we have already seen remarkable changes that we could never have anticipated. We've come up with 20 predictions that explore what the next 20 years may have in store for your organization.

In the next 20 years, we will have made great advances in the environmental crisis that is looming today. Society, scientists and governments will be working together to entrench regulations that will make solving climate change truly actionable rather than a hoped-for outcome. Across the world, we will unite to being carbon neutral and be successful at it. Our lands, water and air will be cleaner and sustainable for next generations.

Climate challenges inspire countries to alter climate change timelines

In two decades, drones, sensors and artificial intelligence (AI) will increasingly detect sources of pollution emission faster and more accurately than we're able to do today. AI will also help us manage natural resources and make quick regulatory changes to reflect real-time insights. New technologies will make this possible by removing carbon dioxide from the air—reducing the impacts of global warming—and move nations and corporations alike towards their net-zero goals. Electricity grids will be decarbonized where possible, and we'll look to alternative fuels where we can capture carbon emissions.

International pressure and the domino effect of countries adopting a new regulatory approach as they commit to becoming carbon neutral within 30 years or less will see accelerated change. The environmental impact will become the key regulatory factor across all industries—from the pollution emitted by transportation companies to investments in non-sustainable environmental activities by financial services firms—which will transform our economy.

Adherence to environmental regulations will be enforced across all industries over the next 20 years. This will lead some organizations to change how they operate—and, more fundamentally, change their business model and strategy. New sustainable products, processes and service lines will emerge from this shift. Organizations will move towards recycling, embrace renewable sources and work to dramatically reduce the carbon footprint of their end-to-end processes and outputs.

Greentech will give way to Cleantech. While Greentech is focused on developing advanced technologies to help the environment, Cleantech focuses on models of business that, at their very core, reduce overall environmental impact, helping organizations meet their sustainability goals across the supply chain. A mix of public and private resources will develop green hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies to meet net-zero goals.

Predictions pulse

Trends, breakthroughs, milestones, and insights on our path towards reaching climate change commitments

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Curious to find out what else could happen between now and 2041? Read our other predictions:

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