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PwC: Extreme weather events drive new focus on climate change

By Rob Starr, Content Manager,

Fewer than half of responding companies report a decline in their emissions solely attributable to emission reductions activities according to the Carbon Disclosure Project Global 500 Report, and this prompts the possibility of a rise in emissions globally with economic recovery. The average of the longer term absolute targets outlined by CDP respondents is drastically too low, at around a 1% reduction per year.

The percentage of companies reporting physical risk as current has jumped significantly from 10% in 2010 to 37% in 2012. 81% of companies now report physical risks (2011: 71%).

“Extreme weather events have become more common, and unpredictability looks set to increase. Preparation is everything. Businesses that have failed to prepare will find it difficult to keep their operations running smoothly as the risk of disruption increases,” says James Crask, specialist in business continuity, PwC.

“The question for investors and shareholders is how resilient is a business to this kind of disruption. While the aggregate cost of bad weather over a winter may not significantly impact national and regional GDP, daily productivity losses are a direct cost to business. In 2011, PwC estimated that the cost of one incident of storm force winds in Scotland could be up to £100m. With potential impacts on transport, power supplies, and disruption to other critical essential supplies, businesses need to act now to ensure they can continue to deliver their most critical services, and that is embedded in their long term business planning.”


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