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Climate change risk to growth

According to a survey of delegates at the Business Continuity Expo in London
last month, which was sponsored by insurance brokers Marsh, 87% of the 150 major
UK and European companies that took part in the study said they thought climate
change was the largest threat in terms of risk on their businesses’ future
growth, even greater than the credit crunch, red tape, offshoring or
outsourcing.

Of the businesses that responded, 83% felt there was a serious risk from
shrinking energy reserves and threatened supply, while many said the cost of oil
and gas would rise so significantly over the next five years that prices would
adversely impact their companies.

“Climate change and energy risk consistently rank among the biggest
challenges facing global businesses in 2008,” said Martin Caddick, head of
Marsh’s business continuity management division. Caddick said most of the
respondents were at a loss as to what could be done to prepare for the energy
gap, or the damage that climate change could inflict on their businesses.

He added that, although most businesses could identify the most pressing
threats to their business continuity, few “seem to be successful in tackling
them head on”. A small majority (60%) of respondents said they felt unprepared
for an energy shortage, even though they believed it was a major threat.

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