Quantcast

Climate Crisis Will Cost World's Biggest Companies $1 Trillion

Business
Eric Overton / iStock / Getty Images

More than 200 of the world's largest companies see over $1 trillion in costs related to the climate crisis, according to a new analysis of corporate disclosures. Much of those costs are anticipated within the next five years.


Large companies are facing pressure to disclose the financial impacts they could face as extreme weather becomes routine. The climate crisis has the potential to disrupt supply chains or diminish investments in fossil fuels, according to the New York Times.

The new report by the charity CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, suggested companies routinely downplay the effects that Earth's climate crisis will have on their specific business. Many companies fail to account for the catastrophic damage likely to occur without rapid cuts in carbon emissions, according to Reuters.

"The numbers that we're seeing are already huge, but it's clear that this is just the tip of the iceberg," said Bruno Sarda, the North America president for CDP, as the New York Times reported.

More than 7,000 companies submitted reports to CDP tackling their risks and opportunities due to the climate crisis — some of the responses came from Microsoft, Apple, JP Morgan Chase and Visa, according to CNN.

The largest 215 companies to respond identified nearly $970 billion in potential costs due to the climate crisis, with the caveat that some of the world's largest firms have not yet studied the issue seriously.

Several companies laid out foreseeable problems, such as droughts rendering borrowers unable to pay back bank loans, skyrocketing costs of cooling data centers in ever hotter temperatures, and flooding and rainfall knocking out supply lines, the New York Times reports. Other companies expect future regulations and laws aimed at thwarting the climate crisis to restrict areas open to exploitation.


"Our collective response to climate change is more urgent than ever, and it is clear that corporate action cannot be delayed," Nicolette Bartlett, director of climate change at CDP, said in a statement, as reported by CNN. "It is hugely encouraging that companies are reporting that the potential value of climate opportunities far outweigh the costs," she added.

In fact, the largest 225 companies to respond saw an opportunity in responding to the climate crisis worth $2.1 trillion, CNN reports. Many of the opportunities are in low-emission vehicles and renewable energies. Fossil fuel companies reported $140 billion of potential opportunities in the drive toward a low-carbon economy — more than five times the $25 billion value of the risks they identified, CDP said, as reported by Reuters.

And, some see profit in human suffering. The pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, for example, expects a rise in infectious diseases, which will increase demand for their products, as The New York Times reports.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Workers evacuate the Lonja del Comercio (Commerce Market) in Havana, Cuba after an earthquake rattled the island Tuesday. ADALBERTO ROQUE / AFP via Getty Images

A 7.7 magnitude earthquake shook the Caribbean Tuesday, rattling people from Miami to Mexico.

Read More
A roller coaster on the Jersey Shore flooded after Hurricane Sandy. Photo credit: Hurricane_Sandy_New_Jersey_Pier.jpg: Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen / U.S. Air Force / New Jersey National Guard / CC BY 2.0

New Jersey will be the first state in the U.S. to require builders to take the climate crisis into consideration before seeking permission for a project.

Read More
Sponsored
The Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu speaks on Jan. 26 during a press briefing on studying the 2019-nCoV coronavirus and developing a vaccine to prevent it. Roman Balandin / TASS / Getty Images

Editor's note: The coronavirus that started in Wuhan has sickened more than 4,000 people and killed at least 100 in China as of Jan. 27, 2020. Thailand and Hong Kong each have reported eight confirmed cases, and five people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with the illness. People are hoping for a vaccine to slow the spread of the disease.

Read More
Healthline ranks Samoas, seen above, as the 11th healthiest Girl Scout Cookie. brian / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Nancy Schimelpfening

  • Nutrition experts say healthy eating is about making good choices most of the time.
  • Treats like cookies can be eaten in moderation.
  • Information like total calories, saturated fat, and added sugars can be used to compare which foods are relatively healthier.
  • However, it's also important to savor and enjoy what you're eating so you don't feel deprived.

Yes, we know. Cookies aren't considered a "healthy" food by any stretch of the imagination.

Read More
Actress Jane Fonda is arrested during the "Fire Drill Friday" Climate Change Protest on Oct. 25, 2019 in Washington, DC. John Lamparski / Getty Images

When you see an actor in handcuffs, they're usually filming a movie. But when Jane Fonda, Ted Danson, Sally Field, and other celebrities were arrested in Washington, D.C., last fall, the only cameras rolling were from the news media.

Read More