What is climate resilience?
We’re seeing a strong focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with net zero* being increasingly adopted by governments and organisations worldwide. But even if we reduced emissions to zero tomorrow, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases would remain in the atmosphere for many years, and we’d still witness a changing climate over the coming decades. While reductions in carbon emissions are important, it’s become crucial to be able to adapt to the changes already happening and that are predicted in the future, to keep your business resilient.
*net zero emissions are achieved when the amount of greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere is balanced by the amount absorbed or removed by sinks, such as forests, oceans, peatlands or ‘carbon capture’ technology.
The impact of climate change
We’re already seeing some impacts: from 1990 to 2020 the average temperature was 0.9°C higher compared to the period 1960 to 1990. In the future it’s predicted that summers in the UK will be hotter and drier, with increased periods of heatwave and drought, and peak temperatures up to 5°C hotter than they are currently. Alongside this, winters will be warmer and wetter, with a higher likelihood of extreme rainfall.
There’s a whole range of risks resulting from climate change which are multifaceted and interlinked. Here are some common risks: