Giving Compass' Take:

• Here is the case for why C-suite professionals should care and engage with climate change and assess climate risk to their businesses. 

• How can donors play a role in helping business leaders address climate change? 

• Read more about business to tackle climate change through inclusion. 

For companies worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic has been both a human tragedy and an urgent wake-up call to understand and address business risks of major disasters and other unfamiliar but damaging societal disruptions.

The impacts of the virus have rippled deep and wide throughout the economy, revealing vulnerabilities that many firms had never previously contemplated. While companies assess how they can prepare for the next pandemic, it's worth broadening the focus to include other emerging risks such as climate change.

The disruptions from climate change can compound the impacts of other disasters such as COVID. Yet climate change alone demands more robust risk management by corporate leaders. It's not too soon to start planning — in fact, it may soon be too late to avoid the worst of the impacts, as asset owners, shareholders and regulators raise their expectations of climate-related corporate planning and disclosure.

Altogether, the world experienced 40 billion-dollar weather-related disasters in 2019, totaling $229 billion in economic losses. And this figure doesn't account for the growing losses of fossil fuel-related stranded assets: three oil and gas giants wrote down more than $20 billion in value of proven reserves in Q4 of 2020 alone — all before the oil industry's acute COVID-related crisis.

The COVID pandemic and climate-related events reveal important and often unexpected risks to businesses, while demonstrating just how poorly prepared many companies are for those risks. Scientists and economists expect climate change to bring increases in the frequency and/or severity of extreme weather and disruptive market events in the years ahead. It's in every company's best interest to understand how it might be affected by these trends.

Read the full article about climate risks to businesses by Peter Schultz, Brad Hurley and Andrew Eil at Smart Cities Dive.