Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Organisations should invest in assessing climate vulnerability: researcher

University of Queensland (Australia): Organisations that apply a “wait and see” approach to thinking about the impacts of climate change on their business might reach a point where it is too late to adapt, according to a UQ Business School expert. PhD researcher Martina Linnenluecke examined the relationship between business activities and expected changes in climate and weather conditions due to climate change in her thesis.

Ms Linnenluecke said those organisations and sectors that had large-scale infrastructure in disaster-prone regions or were reliant on stable climatic conditions should invest resources in assessing their own vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather events, and looking at what flow-on effects might exist.

“There's a general awareness that climate change has emerged as a strategic issue but overall, organisations haven't yet built up the capability to systematically consider the organisational implications of climate change and changes in trends of weather extremes,” she said. “What organisations can do initially is to use the expertise and information that is already out there to try to identify hot spots and regions likely to be affected by climate change and to see if these regions in any way coincide with any organisational activity.”

Ms Linnenluecke said an organisation's vulnerabilities might also extend to vulnerabilities in the organisation's supplier base or value chain. She said business needed to start thinking beyond climate change adaptation towards building up resilience…

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