Climate change is here. The Canadian government knows it and is asking provinces to implement targets and establish some form of carbon pricing regime by 2018. In 2015 196 countries, including Canada came together at the Paris Climate conference to sign a historic agreement committing to keeping temperatures below a 2 degree increase,(3.6F) above pre-industrial levels. A further commitment to reduce emissions with a review process in place as well as the development of a fund to contribute to help mitigate the costs of the effects of climate change for the most vulnerable and affected countries, helped create a global agenda for emissions reduction.
So what does all of this mean for the impact of climate change on business? It means that there is both risk and opportunity. Climate change is likely to drive increases in the cost of energy, raw materials, insurance premiums and capital expenditures, as well as increase investor and reputational risks. Companies embracing the challenges of climate change find new opportunities through innovation.
Canadian Business for Social Responsibility recently released a report “Climate Change Guide for Business 2.0” For businesses interested in fully understanding the opportunities and risks associated with climate change this report offers context and guidance for taking steps to creating a transformational organization to meet the challenges of the 21st century.