One year after Superstorm Sandy, which resulted in $70 billion in economic losses, 20 major companies including Starbucks, Unilever and Mars have called on President Obama and the White House to follow through on climate change preparedness efforts outlined in the president’s Climate Action Plan.
The corporate signatories of the letter say they rely on the stability of global supply chains for growth and profitability, and cite the economic impacts of severe weather events on company operations. They call for ongoing and significant investments to be made in strengthening climate change resiliency both in the US and the world’s most vulnerable countries.
Signatories are: Annie’s Homegrown, Aspen Skiing Company, Ben & Jerry’s, Burton Snowboards, Calvert Investments, Eastern Bank, Eileen Fisher, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Levi Strauss & Company, L’Oreal, Mars, New Belgium Brewing, Patagonia, Portland Trail Blazers, Starbucks, Stonyfield Farm, Swiss Re Americas, Symantec, Unilever and United Natural Foods.
Many of the signatories are members of Ceres’ Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), a group of businesses that advocate for energy and climate legislation.
The letter also cites the 2011 floods in Thailand, which it says led to the insurance industries’ highest-ever recorded flood loss event with more than 14,500 companies reliant on Thai suppliers suffering business disruptions worldwide. The signatories say financial impacts from severe weather events can be minimized through risk-reduction investments that will create jobs and boost the economy.
Global investment in climate change plateaued at $359 billion in 2012, slightly less than the $364 spent the previous year, according to a Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) study published last month.
The Global Landscape of Climate Finance 2013 says once again the figure falls far short of what’s needed. The International Energy Agency projects that an additional investment of $5 trillion is required by 2020 for clean energy alone, to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius. The World Bank, however, projects the earth is on track to 4 degree Celsius warming.