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Mubadala-sponsored study shows how climate change poses a threat to the UK’s wellbeing while technology serves as the greatest opportunity to achieve a sustainable future for all

  • Climate change outstrips other megatrends, with the UK and France feeling this most strongly at 50% alongside France at 52%
  • But climate change also presents the greatest opportunity to contribute to a more sustainable future for everyone, say half of respondents in the UK and France
  • Bloomberg Media surveyed more than 1,800 people around the world for the Megatrends Study with Mubadala

Abu Dhabi: As the world's investors continue to negotiate with and navigate an increasingly complex international investment landscape and deploy capital to create a sustainable future, Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala) is launching its Megatrends Study with Bloomberg Media, showing how climate change is a growing threat to the world and digital technologies serve as the greatest opportunity for a better future.

Based on a survey of over 1,800 global investors, engaged and informed Millennials, and Gen Z consumers from the UK, UAE, US, China, France, and India, the study finds climate change outstrips other megatrends as the greatest risk to the well-being of the world, impacting health, the environment, and business. France (52%), the UK (50%), the UAE (41%), and India (39%) agree most strongly that climate change is the biggest threat, while the US (29%) and China (27%) see climate change almost on par with the impact of demographic shifts and inequalities.

In response to climate change, the need to transition to a low-carbon economy is highlighted, with UAE and India feeling most strongly, at 93% and 92%, respectively.

To support the creation of a sustainable future for all, the study finds that digital technologies is the megatrend most likely to advance the well-being of the world, led by India (34%), the US (34%), China (32%), and the UAE (31%).

The study also notes the significant expectations for businesses to help lead the way to the future. India (95%) and the UAE (91%) feel most strongly, followed by the US (85%), France (84%), the UK (84%), and China (81%).

Ahmed Saeed Al Calily, Chief Strategy and Risk Officer, Mubadala, said: “As a responsible investor, Mubadala continues to execute our investment strategy in line with our convictions about how trends shape the world. We are investing in the energy transition, traditional and digital infrastructure, life sciences, and technology to achieve value creation while delivering a positive impact to communities and contributing to a sustainable future.

The Megatrends Study follows the publication of the report by the UN Economist Network for the UN 75th Anniversary, which focused on five megatrends: climate change; demographic shifts, particularly population ageing; urbanization; the emergence of digital technologies and inequalities. According to the UN Economist Network, the megatrends ‘are the result of human activity, and as such, they can be shaped by human decisions and policy choices.’

Respondents to the Mubadala and Bloomberg Media survey in all markets agree that all five megatrends are important to achieving a sustainable future both today and in 2030. However, while most markets feel optimistic about the current state of megatrends, especially digital technologies, investors across the board are more optimistic than either Millennials or Gen Z. For instance, investors (91%) feel more empowered to respond to megatrends through their choices than either Gen Z (77%) or Millennials (73%).

Other key findings noted by the Megatrends Study include:

  • Respondents strongly agree that inequalities impact the economy, society, and the political environment
  • Respondents agree urbanization brings significant economic and social advantages and disadvantages
  • Respondents are mixed on impact on quality of life of demographic shifts. While India and the UAE feel this most strongly at 93% and 91% respectively, France and the UK rate the impact lower at 82% and 79%

In September 2021, the UK Office for Investment (OfI) and Mubadala signed an agreement to significantly expand the UAE-UK Sovereign Investment Partnership (UAE-UK SIP), a framework for investment announced in March 2021.

Over the next five years, the UAE-UK SIP will drive a significant increase in investment across a further three sectors: technology, infrastructure, and energy transition, as well as build on the existing programme of life sciences investment.

As part of the agreement, the UAE has committed £10 billion via the UAE-UK SIP, overseen by the OfI and Mubadala. This builds on Mubadala’s £800 million commitment and the UK Government’s £200 million to UK life sciences when the partnership was established in March 2021.

To date, the UAE has invested over £6bn into 25 UK companies and 27 UK funds with a strong pipeline of opportunities being evaluated.

To read the full study, please click here.