Briefing

Companies say climate change will hurt their financials within five years

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An analysis of 215 of the world’s 500 biggest companies found that climate change could cost their businesses about US$1 trillion in the next decade if the companies do not take steps to mitigate the risks, according to a report from CDP, a non-profit that helps companies publicly disclose the risks and opportunities climate change poses to their businesses. The majority of companies said they expect to start feeling the impacts within the next five years. (New York Times)

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Talking point: There are two primary ways climate change might impact businesses: extreme weather—including droughts, floods and heatwaves—could directly interfere with operations, and public and political pressure could dissuade consumers from doing business with certain companies. Both factors are driving a global push for companies to track their environmental—as well as social—impacts and disclose their records to the public: more than 7,000 companies worldwide reported to CDP in 2018. Canada is anticipating the final report from the expert panel on sustainable finance to land sometime this month; stakeholders are expecting the report to recommend companies and investors disclose their climate record, if they don’t already.