Climate change risks mounting for businesses

Flooding
Brewery Creek burst through a retaining wall adjacent to the Whole Foods co-op after heavy rains caused flooding in Duluth, Minn., in 2013.
Derek Montgomery for MPR News

From litigation to financial and material loss due to extreme weather, the corporate world is managing mounting risks due to climate change. And the Biden administration’s focus on climate is adding yet more for them to manage.

Expect environmental regulations similar to those under the Obama administration, said attorney Maggie Peloso. And the Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates the financial market, has signaled it would ask companies to disclose to investor how climate change is expected to affect their businesses.

“Fundamentally, there are two big types of risks that companies are looking at right now: The first are risks or opportunities that individual companies may face associated with the energy transition [to renewables],” Peloso said. “The second risk that has gotten less attention, but in many ways is going to be more significant, is the physical risk of climate change. We are going to experience changes in storm severity, rises is sea level, changes in temperature. And each of those types of events can have an impact on the ability of businesses to sustain continuity of operations or to respond in disaster situations.”

Peloso joined Climate Cast with more on the risks businesses face. Click play on the audio player above or subscribe to the Climate Cast podcast to hear the episode.

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