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7 months ago

How Extreme Weather Could Affect the Business Climate

Extreme weather events linked to climate change are becoming a growing concern worldwide. Lloyd's of London, in collaboration with the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies, recently conducted research highlighting potential economic losses that could come as a result.

Such events could extend to global economies and have a big impact on SMEs in the UK. In this article, we examine new findings from the research and explore how businesses could be affected.

The Findings

Lloyd's of London's research paints a concerning picture, suggesting a ‘plausible increase’ in extreme weather events could lead to food and water shortages and economic losses totalling a mind-boggling £4 trillion. The ‘events’ could include heatwaves, cold snaps, droughts, flooding and storms.

The research emphasises that it models the potential economic consequences of extreme weather events. While it’s hypothetical, this approach is valuable in improving the understanding of businesses, insurers and policymakers regarding critical threats.

Flooding on a residential street in the UKDr Trevor Maynard of the University of Cambridge said: “The global economy is becoming more complex and increasingly subject to systemic threats. The research will help businesses and policymakers explore the potential impacts of these scenarios.”

The Consequences

The impact of extreme weather reaches far and wide, including the shores of the UK. SMEs in the country aren’t immune to the potential consequences of global events, especially those who rely on international supply chains. Extreme weather around the world can disrupt these chains, causing delays in the delivery of essential materials and goods and production issues.

SMEs in the UK might find themselves facing higher insurance premiums as insurers respond to growing risks - an added expense that could strain smaller businesses. As policymakers gain a deeper understanding of the risks posed by climate change, they’re likely to introduce new regulations, requiring SMEs to adapt to comply with these changes.

Climate-conscious consumers are understandably more likely to support sustainable businesses, meaning SMEs not aligning with these values risk facing a dip in demand. Extreme weather events also have the potential to disrupt energy supplies and drive up costs.

The Preparation

The research conducted by Lloyd's of London underscores the pressing need for businesses to prepare for the increasing risk that extreme weather presents. SMEs should evaluate their exposure to climate-related risks, identifying vulnerable areas within their operations.

Developing solid plans to mitigate the impact of extreme weather events is essential. This approach could involve diversifying supply chains, improving energy efficiency and adopting more sustainable practices. It’s advisable for SMEs to revisit their insurance policies and double-check they have sufficient coverage for climate-related risks.

Staying informed on Government incentives and support for sustainability measures is crucial. These incentives could include grants, tax incentives and other other current eco-friendly initiatives.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, extreme weather events related to climate change present a growing challenge for businesses. The Lloyd's of London research has highlighted the potential economic losses associated with these events, and UK SMEs are not exempt.

Business owners must take proactive steps to navigate these changing conditions successfully and adapt and align with evolving consumer and regulatory expectations. By doing so, they give themselves every chance to weather the storm of climate change and continue to thrive in the future business landscape.

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Sam White