Leading businesses call for action on floods and climate change
Today leading businesses with a combined turnover of nearly £200 billion have warned that climate change is projected to make UK flooding more frequent.
In a letter sent to the Financial Times, they call for prompt political action to address the causes of climate change. The businesses recognise the critical importance of flood prevention, but call on politicians from all parties to demonstrate bold leadership to address the root causes of increasing extreme weather events.
The recent unstable weather patterns in the UK are in line with the projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Merely adapting to the growing threat of floods will leave the UK exposed to future costs.
The businesses say that a clear commitment to tackling climate change will bring economic benefits to the UK. It will maximise investment and innovation to deliver resilience and future economic competitiveness.
Andrew Raingold, Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group, which coordinated the letter, said:
“These floods were caused by the worst winter downpour in 250 years1 and the clean up bill is already on course to cost £1 billion2. But adapting to the changing climate without addressing the root causes is like dishing out painkillers when we need major surgery. Political parties must come together to show leadership beyond the parliamentary cycle.”
Nick Lakin, Group Head of Government Affairs at Kingfisher said:
“Climate change poses a threat to businesses and communities alike. The floods we have seen are a foretaste of what we could expect as the climate system is disrupted. Far more action is needed. All political parties should work together to put in place mechanisms that can respond to climate change and start to decarbonise the UK economy. Early action will build confidence for investors, drive innovation and ensure the UK economy is resilient and competitive.”
Katharine Thoday from ClimateWise, who helped to coordinate the letter said:
“Avoiding risk is always better than dealing with the fallout. Leadership and multi- sector co-operation is required to put sensible long-term risk management in response to climate change at the heart of policy making.”
The full list of signatories is: Aldersgate Group, Allianz, Atkins, Aviva, Interface, Johnson Matthey, Kingfisher, Lloyds Banking Group, Mitie, Navigators and Swiss Re.
For further enquiries please contact: Andrew Raingold - Executive Director email@example.com / 07939 226664
Note to editors:
This letter was coordinated by the Aldersgate Group, ClimateWise and the UK Corporate Leaders Group.
Aldersgate Group is an alliance of leaders from business, politics and civil society that drives action for a sustainable economy. Our mission is to trigger the change in policy required to address environmental challenges effectively and secure the maximum economic benefit in sustainable growth, jobs and competitiveness.
ClimateWise is the global insurance industryʼs leadership group to drive action on climate change risk. The group leverages the insurance industryʼs expertise to better understand, communicate and act on climate risks.
The Prince of Walesʼs Corporate Leaders Group brings together business leaders from major UK, EU and international companies who believe there is an urgent need to develop new and longer term policies for tackling climate change.