British International Investment
24 October 2022

Majority of businesses in emerging economies impacted by extreme weather event in last 12 months

  • Survey by British International Investment shows accelerating impacts of the climate emergency

The accelerating pace of the climate emergency has been underlined by a new report that revealed that over half of companies in emerging economies have been impacted by extreme weather events over the last 12 months.

The 2022 Emerging Economies Climate Report published today by British International Investment, the UK’s development finance institution, showed that 58 per cent of companies in Africa and South Asia had been hit by events such as extreme flooding, storms or droughts over the last year, compared with just 48 per cent of respondents in the previous year’s survey.

The startling findings also revealed that:

• 68 per cent of respondents said climate change is affecting their business today

• 40 per cent of respondents have been impacted by flooding, while 25 per cent have been affected by drought

• More than half (56 per cent) thought climate change will affect the viability of their business in the next five years, while 72 per cent were concerned that climate change will impact plans to grow their business or investment portfolio over the next ten years.

• 91 per cent agreed to some extent that organisations that take steps to reduce their carbon emissions and reduce vulnerability to physical climate change risks will be more successful in the long-term – up from 82 per cent last year.

• 92 per cent agreed that better and more targeted investment is needed to reduce emissions and vulnerability.

Amal-Lee Amin Managing Director, Climate, Gender & Diversity and Advisory, at British International Investment, said that the survey highlighted the significant impact that the climate emergency was already having on businesses, but also the increased steps that companies were taking to adapt their operations.
She said: “Developing countries – which are least responsible for causing climate change but among the most vulnerable to its impacts – are already feeling the brunt of the climate crisis. And many people living in these regions are already being affected.

“This year we have seen severe droughts on both sides of the African continent, the persistent drought in Somalia for example demonstrates links between climate change and a humanitarian crisis, whereas extreme rainfall in South Africa and devastating floods in Pakistan have directly led to loss of many lives. These increasing extreme weather events will expose millions of people to acute food and water insecurity in Africa and South Asia in the years to come. It is clear we need urgent climate action. Incremental improvements in sustainability will not get us to net-zero and resilient economies.”

“It is encouraging that nearly half of respondents reported that they are offering new climate-friendly products and a similar number are excluding investments that have a negative impact on the planet.”

For the Emerging Economies Climate Report, BII surveyed senior executives working across its portfolio of 1,300 companies and funds in Africa and Asia. Questions in the survey were structured around the pillars of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which provides an international framework to help businesses disclose climate-related risks and opportunities.

Read the report here.

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