Businesses urged to prepare for, and adapt to, climate change

Friday, 06 March, 2015

Business experts Dr Martina Linnenluecke and Professor Andrew Griffiths, from UQ Business School, claim that companies are failing to develop the resilience they will need to cope with climate change.

In their new book, The Climate Resilient Organization, the authors argue that businesses not only need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to try to prevent further climate change, they also need to adapt to that which is already on its way. According to Dr Linnenluecke, “Climate change is upon us, but the business community has not yet fully considered the implications.

“Temperatures are gradually rising, but even more concerning is the increase in extreme weather,” she said, referring to storms, floods and other climate events. Dr Linnenluecke continued, “Even where businesses sustain no direct damage, they are likely to be affected by power cuts or damage to infrastructure.”

Therefore, said Dr Linnenluecke, “We will have to learn to adapt to gradual changes, such as the rise in temperatures, and also build the resilience required to be able to recover quickly from extreme weather incidents.” The book will provide businesses with ideas on how to meet these challenges, she added.

Professor Griffiths said the key difficulty for individual firms lies in determining the likely effects on their business and how best to respond. He suggested that “business leaders need to think in terms of recovery and risk, as well as longer-term resilience”, before emphasising that “these events are not going away”.

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