This is a little ironic; no, it’s more than a little ironic. Congress won’t act on climate change for fear of adversely impacting businesses. So, cities and states are picking up the slack, taking aggressive action, in order to protect their… wait for it…businesses.
A new report entitled Protecting Our Capital, released by the CDP, claims most cities recognize that climate change poses a considerable risk to their local businesses and therefore their economy and well-being. Of course, it’s only a small fraction of businesses that are actively lobbying against climate action -- mostly those in the fossil fuel industries who have the most to lose. Most of them now acknowledge the problem and, even as they hope to slow government action, are moving to address the challenges.
The report, which is based on responses from 207 cities, documents the recognition of the interdependence between cities and businesses. Of those surveyed, 76 percent of cities said that climate change could impact business, while businesses said that 75 percent of their biggest climate-related risks could also be seen as threats to their respective cities.
What kinds of risks are they talking about? These could include rising insurance costs, loss of tourism, supply chain issues and a lack of raw materials. Drivers of these costs will stem from storms and flooding, sea level rise, temperature increases, drought, and other weather-related disruptions and destructions.
A total of 757 carbon reduction drivers were reported.
Notably, the cities of Denver (U.S.), London (U.K.), Madrid (Spain), Durban (South Africa) and Taipei (Taiwan) combined to reduce their emissions by a total of 13.1 million tons CO2-equivalent since 2009. That’s a 12 percent reduction.
Joint efforts between businesses and cities include:
Because of the interdependent nature of our climate vulnerabilities, alliances between disparate sectors can, as these efforts show, make a significant dent in the problem.
Image credit: Seth Oliver Photographic Arts: Flickr Creative Commons
RP Siegel, PE, is an author, inventor and consultant. He has written for numerous publications ranging from Huffington Post to Mechanical Engineering. He and Roger Saillant co-wrote the eco-thriller Vapor Trails. RP sees it as his mission to help articulate and clarify the problems and challenges confronting our planet at this time, as well as the steadily emerging list of proposed solutions. His uniquely combined engineering and humanities background help to bring both global perspective and analytical detail to bear on the questions at hand.
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RP Siegel (1952-2021), was an author and inventor who shined a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. His work appeared in TriplePundit, GreenBiz, Justmeans, CSRWire, Sustainable Brands, Grist, Strategy+Business, Mechanical Engineering, Design News, PolicyInnovations, Social Earth, Environmental Science, 3BL Media, ThomasNet, Huffington Post, Eniday, and engineering.com among others . He was the co-author, with Roger Saillant, of Vapor Trails, an adventure novel that shows climate change from a human perspective. RP was a professional engineer - a prolific inventor with 53 patents and President of Rain Mountain LLC a an independent product development group. RP was the winner of the 2015 Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week blogging competition. RP passed away on September 30, 2021. We here at TriplePundit will always be grateful for his insight, wit and hard work.