Changing weather patterns are becoming increasingly relevant to corporate risk assessments, and yet a newly released study found that the current availability of, and access to, climate change information remains insufficient, both in format and quality.
The report, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, presents the results of an international survey undertaken by the Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Sustainable Business Institute (SBI), Germany. All told, 60 institutions from both developed and developing countries across six continents were polled.
The survey focused on financial service providers because these institutions have expressed a need for more and better climate change information so that they can enhance risk management within their industry. In addition, financial service providers also play a key role in accelerating the implementation of adaptation measures by the private sector more broadly.
Only one-third of those polled felt "sufficiently informed" about climate change, and more than 80 percent said what they need most is interpretation of the quality of climate predictions.
According to SBI, the gaps in the availability of information that were identified in the survey can be closed by:
continued research towards more reliable climate modeling and forecasting
enhanced translation of scientific knowledge and existing information into user-oriented information
more intensive collaboration between users and suppliers, public and private actors, scientists and decision makers
"This survey shows that Financial Institutions are concerned with the potential impacts of climate change and that they see the need to react and respond to such changes through the systematic integration of climate change factors into their decision-making," Mark Fulton, Managing Director at Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors and Co-Chair of UNEP FI's Climate Change Working Group (CCWG), said.
The full study, Advancing adaptation through climate information services,' is available here.