Businesses Need to Plan for Physical Effects of Climate Change, Says New ICF International Report
Changes Bring Both Challenges and Opportunities
Fairfax, Virginia, April 16, 2008 -
Climate change and its physical effects, including temperature increases, sea level rise, and changes in the intensity and frequency of hurricanes and other extreme events, may negatively impact the future cost and profitability of doing business, according to a new report by ICF International for the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.
Adapting to Climate Change: A Business Approach outlines a practical business approach to analyzing and adapting to the physical risks of climate change and focuses on the first step in assessing climate impacts—understanding the potential risks to business and the importance of taking action to mitigate the risks.
"Thinking about taking action to address the physical effects of climate change is not as daunting a task as it might appear to be for many businesses,” said Frances Sussman, co-author of the report. “As the report shows, a straightforward screening can identify the extent to which the business value chain is at risk from climate change and whether a business may need to take action or even undertake further risk assessment."
The report finds that not all businesses require immediate action, but those at risk—such as those with long-lived capital assets or in cases where long-term decisions regarding geographic location or production process are made—need to examine whether adaptive measures are necessary. Still, according to the report, all businesses face the possibility of property damage, business interruption, and changes or delays in services provided by electric and water utilities and transport infrastructure.
“While climate change can adversely affect businesses, opportunities also may emerge from superior management of the associated risks,” said Randall Freed, co-author of the report. “Companies that identify and analyze emerging risks earlier than their peers will be better positioned to avoid or mitigate potential damages. They will, for example, be less likely to make investment decisions that lock high-value assets into areas vulnerable to rising sea levels, extreme drought, severe weather events, or other projected climate change impacts.”
About ICF International
ICF International (NASDAQ: ICFI) partners with government and commercial clients to deliver consulting services and technology solutions in the energy, climate change, environment, transportation, social programs, health, defense, and emergency management markets. The firm combines passion for its work with industry expertise and innovative analytics to produce compelling results throughout the entire program life cycle, from analysis and design through implementation and improvement. Since 1969, ICF has been serving government at all levels, major corporations, and multilateral institutions. More than 3,000 employees serve these clients worldwide. ICF’s Web site is www.icfi.com.
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