After months of witnessing their country battling fierce wildfires, a majority of Australian business executives who participated in a Deloitte survey worry that climate change poses a threat to their companies. Eighty-one percent of the business leaders told Deloitte that they were concerned climate change could harm their businesses.
The Australian executives’ level of concern is much higher than the global average. Forty-eight percent of business leaders in 18 other countries surveyed said they were worried about climate change.
Robert Hillard, a Deloitte Australia executive, said, “Businesses need to demonstrate to investors that they are taking appropriate steps to mitigate their exposure.”
Top Australian government officials, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison, have sparked public anger by denying climate change is a problem. Morrison says the Australian economy will be damaged if it seeks to further reduce carbon emissions. Coal, a major greenhouse gas contributor, is the country’s number two export.
The business world was rocked last week when Larry Fink, the founder of BlackRock, Inc., the world’s largest investment management corporation with nearly $7 trillion in assets under management, sent a letter to chief executives that said his firm would consider a company’s climate change record when deciding where to invest. Fink said companies needed to consider the impact of climate change and sea level rise and act accordingly to protect their bottom lines.
Buyers, sellers, owners, and real estate agents — who are essentially acting as chief executives managing their own financial futures — need to follow the business leaders’ example and consider climate change and sea level rise when they’re deciding how to proceed in a real estate transaction.