Climate change disaster planning must get into the boardroom

Government and business must put weather-related disaster risk management at the heart of economic and fiscal planning.

That is the message from a new Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) report ‘Tackling Exposure; Placing Disaster Risk Management at the Heart of National Economic and Fiscal Policy 

The report carries the clearest messages yet that government and business leaders must respond swiftly and decisively to the latest climate change science, and anticipate extreme weather-related disasters as they undertake strategic policy and business planning.

2011 was the costliest year on record for disasters, with estimated global losses of £234billion (US$380 billion), it states.

Losses from extreme weather-related disasters are doubling every 12 years as more people and assets are in harm’s way and the effects of climate change bite.

“It is no longer acceptable to wait until something happens.  A lot of work has been done on planning for disaster mitigation around the world, but rarely pro-actively by business.  And while some of the more graphic examples in our report are in developing countries, the messages are equally relevant in the UK.”

“Our dramatic and damaging drought with floods scenario, with hose pipe bans in flooded areas of UK ,  is a serious taster of the pattern predicted by the IPCC  and we need to genuinely think how best to protect industry and this country’s resources.

The IPCC found that extreme events such as record hot days – previously expected once in 20 years – will become an annual occurrence in most world regions if we do not drastically cut carbon emissions. The length, frequency, and intensity of heat waves will increase over most areas too, while rain, when it comes, will be heavier.