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Swift adjustment to changing climate urged

United Kingdom
Financial Times
13/09/2010
Vanessa Houlder

Adapting to climate change is just as urgent as laying the foundations for a low-carbon economy, according to the CBI as it called on businesses to raise their game in preparing for rising temperatures and disruptive weather events.

Businesses will be profoundly affected by longer, hotter and drier summers, warmer and wetter winters and more frequent droughts, floods and heatwaves, the employers’ organisation says in a report published on Monday. It says the changes could have a dramatic impact on business operations, consumer behaviour and the construction and maintenance of the infrastructure.

Richard Lambert, CBI director-general, says: “Adapting to climate change is no longer a matter of conjecture, or a challenge we can put off to another day. We are already seeing changes to our climate, and the best scientific evidence we have indicates that the pace of these changes is set to accelerate.”

The CBI calls on the government to help businesses get access to the data they needed in an easy-to-use format that would help them plan for rising temperatures and extreme weather risks. It also calls for the creation of a new public information bank showing the risk to critical infrastructure.

FT In depth: The impact of climate change on politics and business

Neil Bentley, director of business environment, says: “Many businesses aren’t ready for the changes that could be ahead. The flooding in 2007 had insurance claims totalling over £3bn and, as our climate changes, it is estimated that annual flood damages alone could cost as much as £22bn by 2020.

As well as making the impact of climate change part of risk management, businesses need to ensure that infrastructure being built now is resilient enough to withstand changes to the climate over the next century, it says.

Rising temperatures could affect the operability of industrial equipment and key infrastructure assets. For example, increased night-time temperatures in summer could result in electricity substations in urban areas being unable to cool properly overnight.

The prospect of increased crop failures and water scarcity caused by climate change was likely to place strain on global supply chains. It says, as an example, food manufacturers which source much of their grain supplies from Canada were rethinking their global supply strategies following the drought across the Canadian plains last summer that drove up the price of staple foods in retailers across the UK.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.

    

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