Wednesday 28th September 2016                 Change text size:

Report: building climate resilience essential to business survival



power plant by Lisa Murray via Flickr

A new report argues that businesses need to begin building their climate resilience if they are to survive in the future. The paper explains that $200 billion (£130bn) of investments will be needed each year globally to combat $1 trillion (£650bn) of losses from climate impacts within the next two decades.

The report – Climate change and business survival – has been published by Anglia Ruskin University’s Global Sustainability Institute and Mott MacDonald. It explains that investing in improved protection and better emergency planning will enable businesses to cut potential losses in half.

According to the research, of the $200 billion (£130bn) of investment needed per year, a third is likely to offer strong return on investment. Despite the benefits, a $130 billion (£84bn) per annum global funding gap is highlighted. While the report notes that measures to protect against social and environmental losses will offer “only a marginal business benefit”, it adds that such a move is “essential for business continuity as climate change worsens”.

The paper has been published ahead of a UN conference on climate change taking place in December in Paris. It is hoped that the world’s governments will agree on a universal treaty that will see global warming limited to 2C.

Dr Aled Jones, director of the Global Sustainability Institute, said, “Whilst we expect major steps forward in international policy on climate change at the Paris Conference of Parties at the end of 2015, business needs to be thinking strategically about building medium and long term business resilience now.

“A lot of the necessary action makes business sense today but increasingly the dynamic of public and private collaboration will be an essential part in delivering solutions.”

A separate study had previously noted that the cost of climate change could increase significantly over the coming decades and become a “serious challenge” for businesses by 2040. The Carbon Trust recently argued that businesses are “living in two realities”, recognising the risks of climate change and other sustainability issues but failing to take adequate action.

Photo: Lisa Murray via Flickr

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Further reading:

$100 million climate resilience fund launched to help poor countries

‘Living roofs’ help build resilience to changing climates

Study: cost of climate change to become ‘serious challenge’ by 2040

UN calls for investment in disaster resilience as costs reach $300bn per year

Major investors support BP climate resolution


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