Issue of climate change 'has not gone away'

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Issue of climate change 'has not gone away' (image credit: iStock/ themacx)

A new report published by the Adaptation Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change has highlighted the ongoing serious risks to UK plc from severe weather and climate change in the coming years.

Entitled the 'UK Climate Change Risk Assessment Evidence Report', it outlines the real and growing risk that businesses of all sizes across the UK continue to face from climate change and warns the risks of flooding for UK firms remains high.

Responding to the report, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) believes there must now be further concerted efforts to support the nation's company leaders, as the body's own research highlights the fact that as many as 75,000 small firms across the UK are currently facing difficulties securing essential insurance as a result of operating in a flood-risk area.

Furthermore, only around 25 per cent of UK micro businesses - companies with two employees or less - have a resilience plan in place in the event of flooding or other natural disaster in their area.

Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, said: "This report recognises the great risk posed by flooding and extreme weather on small businesses. It also confirms the problems we have consistently identified with access to affordable small business flood insurance.

"Severe weather is expected to increase the severity and frequency of flooding, leaving vulnerable regions at real risk of greater damage and disruption.

"The economic fallout extends beyond those businesses who actually receive flood water through their doors. It disrupts supply chains, distribution channels and impacts whole communities."

Mr Cherry concluded that small businesses across the UK therefore need to feel empowered that the issues they face as a result of adverse weather are being taken seriously in Westminster.

This means the government applying pressure to the UK's insurance sector to provide adequate cover to businesses that remain at risk of flooding, as well as tackling the likelihood of flooding itself to prevent the damage and devastation that can afflict whole communities when adverse weather strikes in earnest.

Meanwhile, business leaders are advised to take their own initiative and also create appropriate back-up plans in the event of disaster. The FSB argues that failure to do so is not an option.