Climate change is one of the greatest existential threats of our time and it has the power to present catastrophic risks to organizations and individuals. But climate change is also a contentious social issue, which makes it one of the most complex and challenging areas of risk management.
Those most concerned with climate change risk management are elected officials and managing directors who want to educate their organizations, committees, and constituents on the risks of climate change and set in place proper responses to mitigate risks. These responses must be properly incorporated into organizational processes though detailed strategic planning.
Climate change risk management is a highly specialized field of risk management. These experts will understand and can explain the impact of climate change, prioritize the risks involved, and then develop a plan and process of implementing effective change.
The first step in climate change risk management is mitigation. In the case of emissions, for example, this means cutting back the level of emissions throughout the world.
The next step will be adaption. How will the individual or organization adapt to the impact of climate change? Research, development, and use of new technology can be effective tools to help organizations and individuals adapt. For instance, a company may provide an ocean-oriented product for clients who must adapt their lives due to rising ocean levels. Effective adaptation involves predicting for climate change, planning resistance to those impacts, and improving other’s abilities to overcome damaging effects.
Proactive climate change risk management steps can also be taken. For governmental agencies this might be geoengineering (manipulation of the weather) or increased regulations and emphasis on conservation. Yet even individuals and companies can develop their own in-house regulations and conservational measures. Climate change risk management experts can strive to increase knowledge and awareness about risks. Many organizations will also use incentives for employees and clients to make more environmentally friendly choices.
In the end, climate change risk management research, awareness, and technology can help mitigate risks and present greater opportunities within climate change dynamics.