The world’s biggest businesses ‘face trillion dollars in climate risk’

A new report from CDP suggests many of these impacts are likely to take effect within the next five years

The world’s 215 biggest companies face $1 trillion (£790bn) in climate change risks.

That’s according to a new report from CDP, which suggests many of these impacts are likely to hit within the next five years.

The organisation, which runs the global disclosure system for environmental information, suggests extreme weather patterns, rising global temperatures and increased pricing of greenhouse gas emissions could result in as much as $250 billion (£197bn) in losses due to the write-offs of stranded assets.

Around $500 billion (£394bn) of costs are rated as being ‘likely to virtually certain’, with higher operating costs linked to legal and policy changes making up a significant risk.

However, CDP suggests the average potential value of climate-related opportunities is almost seven times the $311 billion (£245bn) cost of achieving them, totalling $2.1 trillion (£1.66tn).

It notes companies in the financial sector see the most potential revenue from potential new sustainable products and services at $1.2 trillion (£950bn) , followed by manufacturing at $338 billion (£266.7bn), services at $149 billion (£117.6bn), fossil fuels at $141 billion (£111.26bn) and the food, drinks and agriculture industries at $106 billion (£83.6bn).

CDP points out only half of the fossil fuel companies in the Global 500 provided any financial figures for the risks and opportunities identified.

Nicolette Bartlett, Director of Climate Change at CDP, said: “The goalposts for climate action have never been clearer for companies.

“Our analysis shows that there are a multitude of risks posed by climate change, including impaired assets, market changes and physical damages from climate impact, as well as tangible impacts to business bottom lines.”

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