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Climate change presents the “biggest threat to security that modern humans have ever faced”

Climate change presents the “biggest threat to security that modern humans have ever faced”

Climate change presents the “biggest threat to security that modern humans have ever faced”   – Sir David Attenborough

The momentum is certainly building around the issue of climate change as recent comments from high profile individuals stress the enormity and urgency of the situation. Speaking this week at the first UN Security Council meeting on climate and security, Sir David Attenborough said that the world had “left the stable and secure climatic period that gave birth to our civilisation.

Today, there are threats to security of a new and unprecedented kind.” He continues “If we continue on our current path, we will face the collapse of everything that gives us our security: food production, access to fresh water, habitable ambient temperature and ocean food chains.”

These are strong statements and coming from such a respected figure as Attenborough it makes people pay attention and comes after a line of comments from high profile individuals including Mark Carney and Bill Gates. Now is the time for global leadership and not politics to come to the fore.   

The actions of governments and organisations across the world show the realisation of what we face with many regularly talking about the importance of sustainability and achieving net-zero. This will be discussed as COP26, bringing world leaders together as the UK hosts a key round of UN climate talks. The financial industry also play a key role and last week many came together as part of the The Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI). Executives from the of Bank of America, BNP Paribas, NatWest and Lloyds joined as members of a new Financial Services Task Force aiming to create a net-zero investor sector.

Sustainability has certainly pushed its way to the to the top of the board room agendas for many organisations

UK banks face regulations imposed by the PRA to demonstrate their climate-risk resilience strategies as part of the Bank of England’s aim “to build a financial system resilient to the risks from climate change and supportive of the transition to a net-zero economy.” (Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England).  Identifying climate-related risks into risk management frameworks is vital when considering mortgages and funding for properties.

The Environment Agency  recently estimated that 5.2 million homes and businesses in England are at risk of flooding and around 700 properties are vulnerable to coastal erosion over the next 20 years. This creates a formidable picture of the damaging impact of climate change.

We are all aware of the risks that climate change may pose to our homes. However, there is less discussion about the impact on commercial property, assets, and infrastructure. The financial provisions for commercial real estate are more complex and must consider type of use. Business interruption is a key factor. We specialise in this landscape with a range of tools and capabilities specifically designed for lenders to give greater insight to the impact of climate change on commercial credit risk. To echo Mark Carney’s words “The sooner we act, the less costly it will be. We have to value the future.”

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