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Climate Change Impact


Levels of carbon dioxide (Co2) in the atmosphere have grown dramatically over the years as a result of burning fossil fuels, land use change, and other man-made emissions. This has amplified the natural “greenhouse effect” leading to increasing average earth surface temperatures.

The most prevalent greenhouse gases (GHG’s) in the atmosphere are carbon dioxide (Co2) and methane (CH4). These gases occur naturally in the environment and are necessary for survival on earth, maintaining a temperature necessary for the development of biological activity.

The natural carbon cycle has plants and trees absorbing carbon dioxide. However, humans are increasing the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere much quicker than the plants and trees can absorb. We are also influencing the ability of natural sinks, like forests, to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

Human activities have increased the levels of these two compounds (CO2 and CH4). Other GHGs include nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulpher hexafluoride. These compounds do not occur naturally in the environment and have been released into the atmosphere as a result of human activity.

The trend in increasing global temperatures resulting from documented increase in CO2 levels is generally referred to as global warming and is expected to lead to considerable climatic changes.

The physical risks of climate change are:

  • higher maximum temperatures, resulting in heat waves, subsidence and sea-levels rising
  • higher minimum temperatures, resulting in forest fires, shift of disease vectors and heat stress, and pests
  • more intense precipitation events, such as flooding, disease transmission, loss of water supply and impact on global food production

Since world populations and economies are expected to continue to grow, substantial changes in energy use and advances in efficiency, conservation and alternative energy sources, as well as technological innovations, will be required to reduce emissions.

Climate change poses a major risk to the global economy, affecting the wealth of societies, the availability of resources, the price of energy, and the value of companies.

There is increased scientific proof that climate change is a critical issue from which a company cannot hide. A company cannot be divorced from its supply chain or markets into which its products it produces are supplied.