Climate change and energy will be “a real threat” to the world in the future, a prominent think tank has warned.HBR Consulting chief executive Paul Sowry said the threat posed by climate change had become a “real challenge” to businesses and governments.
“If you look at the threat from climate change as a whole, it’s an absolute threat,” Mr Sowyr said.
“What we’ve seen in the past is that a lot of businesses have changed their behaviour because of the threat.”
And it’s a real challenge that the world faces.
“The report, titled “The Future of Climate Change and Energy: A Risk Assessment for Businesses and Governments”, was commissioned by HBR’s Sustainable Business Network.
It concluded that energy prices were already “unstoppable” in some markets and that a “climate-induced price shock” would result in a drop in prices.
It also warned that rising energy prices would force some industries to scale back or move out of the energy sector altogether, and said the risk of extreme weather and sea level rise was “real”.
The report’s authors include former Treasury chief economist Alan Blinder, former chief economic adviser to the Australian Federal Government Mark Zandi, and Professor David Rau, the head of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at the University of Sydney.
It has not yet been published in the HBR newsletter, but a copy was provided to Business Insider.
The report concluded that the “world’s energy systems are already vulnerable to price shocks” and that climate change “could lead to severe disruptions in energy supply, availability and demand”.”
The climate change threat has become a real threat to businesses, governments and citizens, as well as to individual and collective wellbeing,” Mr HBR said.
Mr Sowyer said the report “recognises that many of the biggest risks to the future of the global economy and to the wellbeing of Australians are already happening today”.”
We have seen an increase in the number of extreme and unusual weather events, and we have seen the risk that we could see extreme climate events, floods and droughts,” he said.
But Mr Sowery warned that while some “lack of understanding” of climate change was needed, it was “not the whole story”.”
I don’t think it’s that simple.
We’ve got to look at what we’re doing, what we have learnt, what the options are and we also need to think about the long-term risks that we’re putting ourselves in,” he told Business Insider in an interview.”
Climate change is real and it’s here and we’re living with it.
It’s not just a minor issue.
“The HBR report said the most vulnerable sectors in the economy were “energy, healthcare, education and transport”.
The company has a $100 million grant from the Australian Government and has also partnered with the Commonwealth Bank and the University.
Mr Rau said that while climate change did not pose the “biggest threat” yet, it would “become one of the most significant” over the next 10 to 15 years.”
There are lots of different ways we can prepare for the future.
We need to get into the habit of thinking ahead and looking for opportunities,” he added.”
That’s a long-standing challenge of climate science and it has to be done.
“The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimated in December that global average temperatures were already 1.4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a figure the US Geological Survey says is “significantly warmer than the historical average”.
However, it also noted that the recent increase in extreme weather events and the melting of ice caps in Antarctica and Greenland have pushed temperatures higher than the previous record high set in 1979.Herald Sun