Business: Climate change tops World Economic Forum’s global risk list

Climate change tops World Economic Forum’s global risk list ahead of Davos

Companies and investors are waking up to the dangers posed by climate change and extreme weather.

Business response

Top investors are demanding that more companies draw up environmental action plans. They’re also asking CEOs to consider risks to their business caused by shifting consumer attitudes toward climate change. Alison Martin, the chief risk officer at Zurich Insurance Group, said it doesn’t matter whether the company’s leadership “believes in climate change or [what they think] the causes of it are.”

“If you were a plastic straws manufacturer a few years ago thinking about your strategy going forward, maybe you weren’t anticipating that consumer sentiment could so quickly and so radically move against you,” she said.

Shareholders are becoming increasingly vocal.Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund launched a big push for sustainability in September, saying it will be using its power as the world’s biggest stock holder to influence companies to behave more responsibly.Last month, investors managing assets worth $32 trillion called on businesses to step up efforts to tackle climate change.

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