Climate change is biggest threat to London SMEs as severe weather threatens supply chains

Climate change is the greatest threat to the future of London’s SMEs, new research from the London Assembly’s Economy Committee has revealed.

SMEs, which account for 90% of all businesses in London, are inadequately prepared for risks posed by disruption to foreign supply chains which is becoming more frequent due to the effects of climate change such as flooding and extreme weather events.

The London Assembly’s Economy Committee heard that large companies including PwC and Lloyd’s London have substantial strategies in place to deal with climate change risks, but that SMEs across the capital are generally unaware of the significant threats to their business.

Speaking to LondonlovesBusiness.com, Jenny Jones AM, chair of the Economy Committee said: “We had climate change scientists telling us what was going on alongside people from the business community.

“It was a surprise even to me that PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Lloyd’s of London were saying that climate change is the biggest risk and threat that they have to deal with.

“It was a surprise to all of us. Although climate change may not be hitting us hard in the same way that it’s hitting other parts of the world, there is a knock-on effect due to the supply-chain issue.

“For example, when Thailand was struck by the tsunami, it hit a lot of IT companies here, because a lot of computer parts are made in Thailand. We are not unaffected by climate change hitting other parts of the world as well.

“SMEs often don’t have the resources to assess the risks in the same way. The big companies can do it, but the smaller companies often don’t know the sort of risks that they are facing, or where to get the information from.

“It’s likely we’ll be advising the Mayor on how to make that kind of information available,” she added.

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