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LISTEN IN: How does Climate Change affect London?

Climate change is not normally a subject that makes business stand up and take notice. Long-term mitigation and adaptability are not generally high up on the agenda.

But ‘future-proofing’ and ‘climate change risk’ are becoming familiar phrases for business, according to the chairman of the Environment Agency, Sir Philip Dilley.

He tells members of London First’s Security & Resilience Network how well – or otherwise – he thinks the business community is preparing to adapt to the challenges posed by a changing climate.

Flooding is considered to be one of the top national security risks for the UK and like many world cities, London is sited around a major river and on a vulnerable coastline.

But with a changing climate, the capital is also subject to heat stress, air pollution and water shortages, which all have security implications.

Members also heard from Professor Chris Rapley CBE, Chairman of the London Climate Change Partnership.

He pointed out that London is potentially more at risk from climate impacts than the rest of the UK because of its complexity, density and location.

However, the benefits of a climate-resilient economy are clear: London’s ‘Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services Sector’, was valued in 2013 at approximately £25.4bn, and has grown by more than 5% over each of the last two years.

Sir Philip concluded saying that 72% of companies had identified a current or future risk related to climate change as having the potential to affect their business or revenue significantly.

Contact: Robert Hall, rhall@londonfirst.co.uk

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