UK businesses urged to prepare for climate change risks and opportunities

A Defra survey has found that less than a quarter of businesses have started to do something about the risk and opportunities that climate change poses.

The survey of UK businesses and other organisations carried out by Ipsos MORI found the low percentage, despite the fact that three quarters of the businesses surveyed were concerned about the effects of climate change on the UK and 31 per cent had been significantly affected in the last three years by extreme weather such as flooding and drought.

It shows that businesses generally perceive a changing climate to be a threat rather than an opportunity, however recent Defra-funded research has shown that the impacts of climate change will present opportunities for UK businesses across a range of sectors such as construction and retro-fitting, water management, tourism, transport and food production.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: "We know that some level of change is now unavoidable and it is the responsibility of us all to think about what a changing climate will mean for our health, our businesses and our way of life. By planning for the adaptation we need now we can ensure that the UK is best placed to meet the challenges of climate change head-on."

"A warmer climate will bring both opportunities and challenges for businesses of all sizes. I want to ensure that UK businesses are well placed to take advantage of the new opportunities that arise as well as ensuring they are ready for the difficulties that higher temperatures and more adverse weather could mean for their staff and working practices."

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