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Is Climate Adaptation the Next Big Thing?

Following an increase in unusual weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere this summer – including record heat waves across Europe – many have started to wonder what a future shaped by climate change might look like.

In Europe, much of the existing infrastructure is built off framework from thousands of years ago, air conditioning is an uncommon luxury, and many cities and towns struggle to brave the torrential downpours traditionally more typical of a tropical climate.

While investment into preventative measures is still vital to prevent further damage, carbon emissions have already put into motion some irreversible effects according to studies by NASA and Science Magazine. Already, the effects of a global rise in temperatures are disrupting day-to-day life; perhaps more capital should be allocated for adaptive measures to help mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

The New York Times reported in July on The Climate Policy Initiative’s findings that only approximately 7% of climate-focused finance is being invested into climate adaptation efforts.

Given the lag in government policy around carbon emissions and reduction targets, it seems likely that adaptive climate technologies, products and services will need to see increased investment over the coming years, both in the public and private spheres.

ESG investors may even begin to find they can make a greater impact socially by investing into adaptive technologies than by focusing on the environmental impact of preventative measures. Retrofitting antiquated infrastructure to prevent landslides or investing into more eco-friendly cooling technologies may prove more beneficial in the long term.

Companies may also benefit from analysing their own business practices to determine where potential weaknesses lie. Adapting products, services, and particularly supply chains, to changing weather patterns could aid businesses’ longevity or marketability down the line.

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