IPCC warning: industry cannot be isolated or insulated from climate change

The Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has informed industry that it “cannot be insulated or isolated from the impacts of climate change”.At the industry day event organised by Heriot-Watt University (on Tuesday 26 February), he said,

“Industry and business around the world, across every sector, cannot expect to be insulated or isolated from climate change. It will impact economic growth, the availability of skilled labour, workers’ health, and the global flow of goods and raw materials. Companies which depend on climate sensitive supply of raw materials such as agricultural and dairy products may need to consider action to secure their supply chains. Large companies in particular should consider taking action now to secure their supply chains.

Dr Pachauri addressing Heriot-Watt University for the Sustainable Development Event

Dr Pachauri addressing Heriot-Watt University for the Sustainable Development Event

“I’d say, based on the findings of the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC and our Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation, that business has huge opportunities in tapping into the growing market for products and services that help reduce greenhouse gases and enable countries and communities to adapt to changes in the climate. They should not be left behind.”

He also hailed purse power. He said,

“Companies should consider possible reputational implications if they do not provide what society expects of them. Consumers could increasingly demand and place a higher premium on goods with a low carbon impact.”

Referring to Scotland’s targets of reducing climate emissions by 80 per cent (on 1990 levels) by 2050 he said,

“I’m very impressed by Scotland’s ambitious drive to reduce carbon emissions – this can be an example to the world.”

 Dr Pachauri Heriot-Watt University Visit to High Speed Rail testing Rig
Dr Pachauri Heriot-Watt University Visit to High Speed Rail testing Rig

Professor Steve Chapman, Principal of Heriot-Watt University, said,

“Along with other Scottish universities, our focus is on working with industry to develop solutions to global challenges through cutting-edge research – whether that’s in sectors such as high speed rail or carbon capture and storage. As part of this, we continue to develop commercially viable solutions through expanding our research intensification.”

Dr Pachauri also opened new labs at Heriot-Watt University where researchers are developing inexpensive, environmentally-friendly solar cell technology, which has a low upfront capital investment requirement and is therefore suitable for countries in the developing world. The team is being led by Professor Hari Upadhyaya who leads on energy engineering at the University’s School of Engineering and Physical Sciences.

Energy Conversion Lab using environmentally-friendly solar cell technology

Energy Conversion Lab using environmentally-friendly solar cell technology

Dr Pachauri made the comments as he addressed around 400 academics and industry leaders at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK, on the challenges and opportunities that climate change presents to industry.

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