Climate change and the state of the environment are the most important and difficult challenges facing governments, businesses and individuals this century.

Having moved into a period where theoretical climate change risks imagined in the past are now actually taking their toll, there are concerns that trends which have been started cannot now be stopped.

There needs to be careful management to reduce the impacts on the global economy that climate change and environmental damage will bring and some problems which won’t be preventable.

Car pollution in cities, coal power stations, plastic pollution in the oceans, rising sea levels and food security are some of the biggest issues of the century and how they are dealt with will affect business in all sectors and markets.

This post is taken from a MarketLine report. It is available here.

Here are five of the biggest challenges facing the world.

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By GlobalData

1. Diesel’s bubble slowly bursting

As we become more aware of the damage that the switch to diesel has created, policy makers are beginning to get tough on the fuel source and major cities in Europe and some others world-wide plan to directly ban or fine diesels by 2020.

This decision is likely to disrupt the automotive market drastically as consumers will need to move to a new fuel source. This could be a major opportunity for manufacturers of electric, hybrid and hydrogen alternatives to encourage new consumers towards their product.

However diesel won’t die quickly, because too many people and companies are heavily invested, and the majority of consumers may choose petrol vehicles as their alternative if they do swap, but by 2020 HEV and EV sales will be motoring.