back to archiveIs your business prepared for climate change?
We are looking for case studies for a forth coming practical guide to tourism businesses on how to adapt to climate change: Have you had to make changes to your business either to protect your premises and guests from extreme weather events or to respond to changing visitor patterns, if so we would be very interested to hear from you. Please contact email@example.com
Although extreme weather conditions be they storm, flood or drought are not by themselves proof of climate change, there is no doubt that weather patterns in Wales are changing. Scientists predict that the following changes in the climate in Wales will become apparent over the next 100 years;
• the summers will be hotter and drier,
• the winters will be warmer but stormier,
• the average temperature will go up 1.5 - 2.5 degrees,
• the average rainfall will rise by a small amount, but more of the rain will fall in the winter,
• there will be a 60% greater chance of severe storms, and
• sea levels will rise and coastal areas will be more at risk from storm surges.
Preparing for extreme weather makes good business sense, as it is about reducing risk and grasping opportunities. Climate change and extreme weather should, therefore, be treated like any other business risk and be incorporated into your existing business practices such as risk assessments, business continuity plans and health and safety procedures. Being unprepared may leave you vulnerable to the costs, disruption and distress caused by extreme weather events. In some cases, adapting to extreme weather (for instance through flood resilience measures) may help to reduce insurance premiums and may even become a criteria in the future for securing adequate insurance. Implementing measures to adapt to climate change can add to the value of the business, as being protected means that it is easier to sell the property on.
In order to help your business survive and prosper in the years ahead you need to be flexible and plan to adapt your business, minimise your risk and maximise your opportunities.
Your business needs to respond to climate change in two ways;
• Mitigate - all businesses need to reduce the greenhouse gases they produce through changing the way they source and use energy.
• Adapt - all businesses need to prepare for the changes in climate that are happening now, and will happen in the future, because of the greenhouse gases which have already been produced.
Green Snowdonia are currently developing a practical guide for Welsh tourism businesses on how to adapt to climate change. Funded by Visit Wales as part of the development of their Sustainable Tourism Toolkit the guide will be available later in 2012.
Photo: A November storm in north Wales resulted in this caravan along with its occupants being blown over a wall and into the Afon Peris. © Ray Wood