Experts warn of climate change disruption

22 September 2010

22 September 2010 | Helen Gilbert

Businesses should use climate risk data to plan for disruption to their supply chains caused by the results of global warming, UK government advisers have said.

The Committee on Climate Change’s adaption sub-committee, a body that advises government on coping with global warming, found that although some progress had been made in raising awareness of climate change, “very little tangible action” had taken.

In a report the committee argues that extreme weather such as floods, heatwaves and droughts are likely to become more frequent as a result of future climate change.

By 2080, sea levels could rise by around 25cm near Edinburgh and Belfast and by around 40cm near London and Cardiff, if the world does not mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Organisations should develop “business continuity plans based on high-quality climate risk information so that businesses can cope better with disruptions to their supply chains during floods and damage to assets from severe weather”, the report said.

The UK needs to ensure there is resilience to cope with climate change by focusing on five key areas: land use planning, infrastructure, buildings, natural resources and emergency planning.

Lord John Krebs, chair of the sub-committee, said: “The UK must start acting now to prepare for climate change. If we wait, it will be too late.

“It is not necessarily about spending more but about spending smart and investing to save. If we get it right, we can save money in the short term and avoid large extra costs in the future.”

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