Climate change is still not a critical issue for business, finds an IRM poll

Climate change is still not a critical issue for business, according to a poll at the Institute of Risk Management’s (IRM) annual Risk Forum this week.

A significant majority (68%) of delegates said that their boards were not discussing climate change and this was reinforced by 72% saying that the subject had not made it onto their risk register.

There was also mixed opinion on what type of risks would arise from climate change. Delegates comprising a wide range of risk professionals from the public and private sectors, who were voting in the poll using ppvote software, said that weather damage to property will be the most important climate change risk for organisations over the next ten years, followed by increased costs for energy / fuel and insurance.

IRM chief executive Steve Fowler says: “The fact that the majority of organisations are not yet acknowledging that climate change is a board level risk shows the gap between personal and corporate concerns, since as individuals 73% of those present believe that it is a real cause for concern.

After a summer of very adverse weather and significant flooding, it cannot be long before companies have to grasp this subject and decide where the threats and opportunities lie. Almost three quarters of the delegates have a negative perception of climate change, viewing it as a business risk not an opportunity.”