Businesses lack climate change plans

14th April 2012


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  • EMS ,
  • Management ,
  • Adaptation ,
  • Corporate governance

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IEMA

Less than half of the UK's biggest firms have plans in place to ensure their business can adapt to the impacts of climate change, according to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)

A CDP poll of FTSE 100 companies reveals that, while 80% of respondents agree that the changing climate brings substantial risks to their operations, only 46% have included adaptation plans in their overall business strategy.

The research, carried out on behalf of Defra, concluded that businesses have a poor understanding of the financial impacts of adaptation, and that failing to quantify these risks means they are being left out of corporate plans.

Environment minister Lord Taylor responded to the research by calling on investors to pressurise companies into taking a more strategic approach. “Investors can provide an incentive to businesses to not only consider the long-term risks of climate change, but also the opportunities that can be grasped now,” he said.

The report came as the OECD warned that the impacts of climate change in 2050 will be “colossal” unless urgent global action is taken to improve environmental impacts.

The Paris-based body predicts that with the global economy set to quadruple in size and the worldwide population to reach nine billion, energy demand will increase by 80%, water use by 55% and greenhouse-gas emissions by 50%.

As a result, it predicts that deaths attributable to air pollution will triple, 40% of the world’s population will be living in areas of water stress, biodiversity will decline due to competing needs for land-use and global temperatures rises could hit 3°C–6°C.

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