Last month, something extraordinary happened at UN climate action summit. A 16-year-old Swede electrified the summit by lashing out at the world leaders for failing to tackle climate change. Now, she is being trolled on social media by many government agencies and their supporters. Is she exaggerating climate risk?
The good news is that people have started thinking about climate risks throughout the world; that the awareness for sustainability will move up a step; and that everyone will know that they are being watched now.
What are these climate risks?
One thing we all agree on is that the number and severity of droughts, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and other climate disasters have increased during the current century. Global warming is there whether they believe it or not as the world temperature has been raised by 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) over the last 100 years and could reach 3.8 degrees by 2080. Now some people think that 0.8 or 3.8 is not much and they can easily tolerate this, however, what they don’t understand is that this is an average temperature rise which means summers would be hotter and winter would be colder. More floods would occur in the rainy season and more drought in summer. This is already beginning to be perceptible. With just 0.8 degrees increase, you can see the conditions prevalent across the world. There are record-breaking summer heatwaves, heavy rainfalls have easily turned into floods. Almost every second day, there is a report of flood situation somewhere in the world. There is a water crisis in many places due to droughts. And all of this is happening by just 0.8-degree rise. Now think what will happen when it’ll reach 3.8 degrees… Bah!
This rise in the global temperature has very bad effects on our ecosystem, especially on our oceans as they are absorbing more heat. Increasing ocean temperatures create rising water levels, as well as affecting marine species and coral reefs. It is also causing changes in the ocean acid levels resulting in a loss in its pH level which can cause coral bleaching and eventually kill the coral reefs.
If that isn’t enough, this climate change isn’t just an environmental problem, it is completely linked to almost everything you do as a society. It has already started to affect your business and will affect it even more in the near future. Some of the most eminent ways in which climate change can affect businesses are:
Increase in the product cost – As the temperature rises the working conditions will become tougher, mainly for the outdoor work. The labour cost and the health & safety cost for the workers will go up. Due to this, the effect can be seen in the final product cost.
Increase in insurance premiums – Due to climatic risks, the insurance companies can increase their premium cost, which can directly affect your business.
Shortage of resources – droughts and storms can reduce crop growth which affects the supply of food, apparel and other products. Also, the shortage of non-renewable resources of energy will make it costlier, which in turn can increase the cost of energy and transportation.
Loss in sales – It was reported that around 7 million people protested across 6000 different locations in 185 different countries last week. By looking at the protests and events happening across the globe, and the increase in the number of people that are joining them, it’s certain that the awareness for green living and green consuming is growing at a greater pace. This awareness has caused a lot of people to boycott non-eco-friendly products (such as the great plastic straw uproar). Therefore businesses which aren’t open to improving their products and processes may see a decline in their sales.
In order to prepare for these climate risks, businesses need to adopt green methods. They need to analyse the impact of their practices on the environment, as well as the potential risks they face due to climate change. They should identify their resources to see if they are green as well, change or save their energy source and improve their environmental preferences.