Global success means London is more at risk from climate change, says report

Canary Wharf buidlingThe economy of London is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and businesses are doing too little to make themselves more resilient, according to a report by a committee of the London Assembly.

London’s vulnerability is not confined to local weather events like flooding or drought, and is due largely to its success as a global financial centre. This inter-dependence with other economies means risk for the financial services sector, and international supply chains could be easily disrupted leading to shortages of products or components.

In its report, Weathering the Storm, the Economy Committee of the London Assembly finds that more than half of the FTSE 100 companies have not built climate change adaptation into their business strategy or continuity planning.

And small and medium size businesses are generally less well prepared with 60% lacking any plan to deal with the impact of extreme weather conditions.

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The reports says that one problems is a lack of skills in the workforce to help firms develop adaptive strategies and policies to deal with the risk of climate change.

It points to an opportunity for London. It says that the risk from climate change is a global one. There is a growing demand for good, services and infrastructure that can adapt and businesses in the capital may be well placed to provide them.

The committee urges the Mayor, Boris Johnson, to take more action to prepare the city and it companies for extreme weather, both here and globally.