The Canberra team guides large companies through climate change | Canberra Times

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A team led by Canberra advises Australia’s largest companies on how to adapt to climate change. The Climate Resilient Enterprise Mission, led by Juliet Bell, offers detailed analyzes of everything from how buildings will cope with climate change, to whether asphalt will melt in places where a business operates. The mission is part of the CSIRO – Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. As leaders from around 200 countries (including Australia but not the top leaders of China or Russia) meet in Glasgow, Mrs Bell will speak to business people and policy makers from around the world at a virtual conference (and then one with a small carbon footprint). At the Impact X Summit Sydney conference, she will explain how her CSIRO business can help with the practicalities of dealing with climate change. The four major Australian banks, for example (Commonwealth, ANZ, Westpac and NAB) plus Macquarie Bank face new risks as global warming picks up. They may want to change their lending policies from investing money in high-emission industries to supporting greener industries or away from housing and purchasing projects near the sea surface. They may think twice about having a strong presence in countries exposed to multiple floods or storms. The indication is that business is starting to think harder about climate change as a real factor affecting their future profits. Last month, three economists at the Reserve Bank of Australia warned that commercial banks’ lending policies might need to change. “The significant uncertainty about the exact magnitude of the impacts of climate change makes it important for banks to further integrate climate risk into their mortgage and business lending processes,” the RBA experts wrote. Regulators in many industries and parts of the world are increasingly putting climate change policy into regulation. Companies need to state what their risks are. “These risks are related to both physical impacts and the need to move to a net-zero economy,” the unit statement said. CSIRO, as a government agency, is not allowed to make money – it must use any profits for further research – so it is not clear how much Australia’s lucrative companies, e.g. in finance or mining, can pay for taxpayers -funded expertise. But the agency steps in with information for use in the economy in general, information that the market in the form of profit-seeking companies fails to provide. “Our initiative will prepare and assist the Australian industry in dealing with the impacts and risks of a changing climate, while identifying adaptation and transition opportunities,” the unit’s mission statement said. The strength of the unit comes from the great breadth of expertise within CSIRO. It spans the practical sciences, from engineering to biology to meteorology. “We have been overwhelmed with requests from the private sector,” Bell said. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how to continue accessing our trusted content:


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