Almost half of all UK businesses have already been impacted by the effects of climate change through extreme weather events, according to a survey.
The study of more than 1,500 UK business decision-makers also found nearly three quarters are concerned about the impact over the next 10 years. Two thirds of those surveyed by global risk management and insurance broker Gallagher said a rise in global temperatures of 2°C – the upper limit set by the 2015 Paris Agreement – would have a “significant” impact on their business.
The most common effect of climate change on British business is disruption from extreme weather events, including flooding, storms and heatwaves (52%), followed by increased operating costs (47%), supply chain issues (39%) and physical damage (35%). The research found that 15% of businesses have already moved premises due to climate change, while 16% have been forced to change their business model.
However, more than half of all business leaders (53%) have not taken steps to mitigate against the risks.
Neil Hodgson, Managing Director of Risk Management at Gallagher, said: “Climate change clearly poses a serious threat to British businesses – and the damage is already being done. The country is committed to reducing our emissions and reaching net zero by 2050 but, with half of businesses reporting impacts, it seems we are already on the backfoot.”