Of all the business opportunities presented by global warming, Raytheon Company may have found one of the most alarming. The Massachusetts-based defense contractor—which makes everything from communications systems to Tomahawk missiles—thinks that future "security concerns" caused by climate change could mean expanded sales of its military products.
Raytheon, it should be noted, isn't exactly gunning for catastrophic global warming. Quite the opposite, in fact: In February, the company received a "Climate Leadership Award" from the EPA for publicly reporting and aggressively reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. It's working on renewable energy technologies. And it has publicly warned of significant climate change-related risks to its business—from things like hurricanes, floods, droughts, and forest fires.
So it's particularly striking that these very same climate-induced disasters could also have a financial upside for Raytheon. Like many other companies, Raytheon regularly submits information to the non-profit Carbon Disclosure Project about its carbon reduction efforts and how climate change could affect its business. In response to a question about climate-related opportunities, Raytheon wrote [registration required] last year that "expanded business opportunities are likely to arise as consumer behaviour and needs change in response to climate change."
What kind of business opportunities? Raytheon cites its renewable energy technologies, weather-prediction products, and emergency response equipment for natural disasters. But the company also expects to see "demand for its military products and services as security concerns may arise as results of droughts, floods, and storm events occur as a result of climate change."
The document says that these extreme weather conditions could have "destabilizing effects" and that on an international level, "climate change may cause humanitarian disasters, contribute to political violence, and undermine weak governments