Three in four UK businesses feel threatened by climate crisis

6th July 2020

Web eco firm istock 485884825 0

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Business & Industry ,
  • Energy ,
  • sea ice loss ,
  • UK government


Timothy Spicer

Three-quarters of UK businesses feel threatened by climate volatility, but just one in 10 believe that assessing the risk should be a priority this year, a new survey has found.

Cost is seen as the main barrier to tackling climate risk, cited by 45% of respondents, followed by a lack of understanding, mentioned by 28%.

The findings from Earth Science AI company Cervest also reveal that 60% of companies believe climate change will be damaging to their business, while 67% think they lack the skills needed to manage the issue.

“Our findings show that businesses are unclear of the risks that climate presents to them, and the potential price tag that goes with that,“ said Cervest CEO Iggy Bassi.

“Bearing the brunt of this current pandemic will be an immediate focus for many companies. But the long-term cost of ignoring climate change threatens to be far more severe than the expense of putting strategies in place today.“

Over 500 businesses took part in the survey, which found that revenue growth is seen as their top priority this year, followed by profitability and sustainability.

The top 10 priorities for UK businesses in 2020 are shown below:

Cervest said that businesses need to be held accountable for their role in mitigating climate risk, but found that 72% of see climate as a political problem.

Furthermore, 83% do not believe the government is providing enough support to help them tackle climate change, with 85% arguing there needs to be regulation enforced to help mitigate the climate risk.

“The gap between decision-makers and the role they think they play in the climate crisis is shocking and greater responsibility needs to be taken,“ Bassi said.

“We have witnessed the world quickly adapt to do whatever is necessary to tackle the virus. This level of unity must be applied to the climate crisis.“

Image credit: iStock

Graphic credit: Cervest


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

How much is too much?

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

Ben Goodwin reflects on policy, practice and advocacy over the past year

2nd April 2024

Read more

In 2020, IEMA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) jointly wrote and published A User Guide to Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. This has now been updated to include three key developments in the field.

2nd April 2024

Read more

Hello and welcome to another edition of Transform. I hope that you’ve had a good and productive few months so far.

28th March 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close