Business as usual? Adapting to climate change

2 November 2006

Business as usual (1.61 MB)

Climate change is the great challenge of the twenty first century. We have to focus on two inter-linked tasks: adapting to changes in our climate that are now inevitable (adaptation) and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases to limit further, more dangerous climate change (mitigation).

This report focuses on adaptation and examines how London is financially exposed to global climatic events. It highlights the responsibilities, challenges and opportunities facing London’s financial service sectors, and poses a number of key questions that place adaptation to unavoidable climate change at the heart of the decision-making process.

Financial markets and businesses need to grasp the reality we face: that we have to invest now to both reduce our emissions and adapt to unavoidable climate change. There is no choice between mitigation and adaptation – we have to pursue complementary actions on both.

The report poses key questions for each of London’s major financial sectors. (Insurance, Pensions, Fund Management, Banking, Infrastructure and Utilities). It asks the financial services sector to consider how their operations, investments and business interests are affected by extreme weather events, changes in weather patterns, rising temperatures, sea level rise and other related phenomena both now and in the future.