Sustainability trends are an increasing concern amongst the general public. It’s been two years of the pandemic shaping our immediate future. From unpredictability around the conflict’s impact on geopolitics and security; to the struggle to control inflation; chaos in energy markets; and Asia Pacific region’s uncertain post-pandemic path. To complicate matters further, the 4th wave of COVID is starting to take a toll.

Credit: The Drum

Sustainability trends can be hard to keep an eye on in a fast-changing world. And there’s plenty to be anxious about in relation to climatic and environmental challenges. Living through such uncertain times is tough, but the worst response is for us to become despondent.

Today’s world is much more unstable, convulsed by the vicissitudes of great-power rivalry, the aftershocks of the pandemic, economic upheaval, extreme weather, and rapid social and technological change. Unpredictability is the new normal.

Credit: Economist

Read on to learn about the sustainability themes and trends to watch in the year ahead.

1. The Ukraine War

Credit: Yale Environment 360

Scientists are growing increasingly concerned about the environmental repercussions of Ukraine’s conflict. Unsustainable conflicts in Ukraine drive energy prices, inflation, interest rates, economic growth, food shortages and geopolitical and international dynamics; and are therefore interconnected to global recessions amongst both developed and developing countries.

2. Climate Innovations and Alternatives

Credit: Forbes

Global energy supply security has been highlighted and backed up by traditional fossil fuels in the short term – but switching to renewables is a safer alternative. This is along with hydrocarbons in the medium term, then ultimately wind and solar, nuclear and hydrogen in the longer term.

3. Ageing Populations

So what does a population/demographic mean? Well, a demographic dividend is a potential for faster economic development as a result of a drop in a nation’s birth and death rates and the ensuing alteration in the population’s age distribution. The growing ageing populations are most dominant in India and China. The Population dividends converted into its economy may change compared with America’s.

4. New Surge in Tourism

An increase may take place for international tourist trips – at 1.6bn, while Business travel remains costly to most businesses. According to UNWTO, “International tourism continued to show strong signs of recovery, with arrivals reaching 57% of pre-pandemic levels in the first seven months of 2022. According to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourist arrivals almost tripled in January to July 2022 (+172%) compared to the same period of 2021.”

5. Virtual Reality Business Players

They are set to sustain with the rise of “passkeys” – to replace passwords. When nimbys are out and yimbys are in, cryptocurrencies are relatively unpopular and post-quantum cryptography is the new star.

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