The UN Climate Conference is underway in Bonn, Germany and participants are reckoning with a new UN report showing a large gap between the efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and what scientists say is needed to avoid dangerous levels of climate change.
In the U.S., efforts to cut those emissions often come in the form regulations on companies that pollute. President Donald Trump has called certain regulations "job-crushing."
Is a win for the environment a loss for the economy?
Experts explore that question in a program from the Commonwealth Club of California's "Climate One" series, hosted by Greg Dalton.
• In the U.S.: Mapping the potential economic effects of climate change • In politics: A bipartisan solution for saving nature
What's good for big business and what's good for the environment don't seem to align a lot of the time, but the tides are beginning to turn.
"(Businesses are) realizing the value of sustaining the things that they need," said Barbara Grady, senior writer at GreenBiz.com. "Be it water, land, agricultural goods that will not ruin the land for future growing of crops."
Consumers are also paying closer attention to the environmental practices of companies, making a business' reputation more important than ever.
Several regulations have been put in place to protect resources in the U.S., in some cases stopping production after a company has reached an emissions limit.
The question we need to answer now is: "How do you move from a place of simply trying to stop bad things, and asking instead, how would you make products and services in a sustainable manner?" said Adam Davis, managing partner of Ecosystem Investment Partners.
Part of what we need is a system that keeps track of how we're doing when it comes to preserving our "natural capitol," said Gretchen Daily, a professor of environmental science at Stanford University.
"We're starting to be able, with the data revolution, and the technologies that go with it, to see actually and trace our breakfast," Daily said. "And really begin to illuminate our own impacts and the ways in which we could influence all those producers out there."
To listen to their discussion, click the audio player above.