Revenues from climate-related business across the globe rose by 75 percent in 2008, according to HSBC Global Research. What’s more, revenues from businesses in the climate sector, such as those pertaining to energy efficiency, possibly could exceed $2 trillion by 2020, reports Reuters news service. In comparison, in 2006 the Stern Review on the economics of climate change forecast climate-related revenues to climb to $500 billion by 2050.

The report identified four core investment pillars in the sector: low-carbon energy production; energy efficiency; control of water, waste, and pollution; and climate finance. Of these sectors, energy efficiency saw the highest investment returns in the year to date (30 percent), followed by carbon finance (24 percent). Currently the United States, Japan, France, Germany, and Spain account for 76 percent of global climate revenues, according to the report.