Global disasters related to the weather offer significant opportunities for companies positioned to help clients prepare for the consequences of climate change, according to a report by Environmental Business International.
In its report, EBI looks at how service providers are positioning their companies to work in this sector and also at the challenges involved in pioneering adaptation work.
Currently the climate change adaptation market is primarily in the investigational phase, and amounted to specialty service revenues of $700 million in the US in 2013. EBI forecasts a billion-dollar US industry by 2016 derived mostly from analysis, assessments, mapping and planning projects led by consulting and engineering firms, specialist climate change consultancies, and professional service firms. The global market for this is expected to be approximately $2 billion.
However, once adaptation moves into the design, engineering and construction phases, EBI predicts the market will see higher growth driven by major projects like desalination plants, levees, sea walls, port reinforcements and similar projects. Long term, climate change adaptation projects will represent tens of billions of dollars annually, including design and construction.
According to Jim Hight of EBI, the accelerating nature of climate change and the growing frequency of extreme weather events ensures that adaptation is going to be one of the fastest growing topics for government and the private sector, adding that now is the time for companies to understand the advantages of being early movers in responding to the challenges and opportunities of climate change.
The EBI report echoes the message of a report released last year by the United Nations Environment Programme which stated that climate change will increasingly affect businesses and how they operate.
In addition, nearly 90 percent of S&P Global 100 Index companies identified extreme weather and climate change as current or future business risks, according to a report released last year by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.
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