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At Davos, bosses paint climate change as $7 trillion opportunity

Businesses should seize a $US6 trillion ($7.45 trillion) opportunity to invest in tackling climate change over the next two decades, the head of an Indian multinational said at Davos on Thursday.

"Climate change is the next century's biggest financial and business opportunity," Anand Mahindra, chairman of the Mahindra Group, a $US19 billion conglomerate, told the World Economic Forum (WEF), an annual meeting of global business and political leaders held in the Swiss Alps resort of Davos.

Mahindra likened the transformation to when cars were first introduced and the industry that developed around them. Climate change will also bring new appliances, technologies and retrofitting of old ones, he said.

"Why on earth are we talking about this as a compulsion or a burden?" he asked the audience.

The idea that companies face a trade-off between improving the climate and their growth or profits is a "myth", he added.

"Everything our group of companies has done to try and improve energy (consumption) or to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has given us a return," he said.

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