Axa report warns business on climate change

18 September 2006
Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK are unprepared for the possible effects of climate change, according to a new report.

Research conducted by Axa found that some 90 per cent of small companies that are located in regions deemed at risk of flooding and other extreme weather conditions do not have adequate insurance in place.

In addition to this, the survey revealed that not even one in three firms have a contingency plan ready to deal with such an emergency and only a quarter view climate change as a real threat to their business.

The study was carried out by Professor David Crichton, of the Chartered Insurance Institute, and also showed that 46 per cent of companies see the climate change threat as being 'blown out of proportion'.

Chief executive at Axa Peter Hubbard said: "SMEs are the backbone of our economy, employing some 12 million people. Climate change poses a real threat to their existence and this is a problem that to a great extent has been overlooked.

"The insurance industry, government and other relevant parties must work much more closely together to ensure that businesses understand the scale of the threat posed to them, and what actions they can take to reduce these risks," he added.

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