Climate change is the greatest threat to business for London’s SMEs

24 June 2014

The biggest potential disruption to London’s economy as a result of severe weather and climate change is in the small and medium sized enterprise (SMEs) sector.

The London Assembly’s Economy Committee today heard that large companies like PwC and Lloyd’s London have substantial strategies in place to deal with climate change risks. However, SMEs across the capital are generally unaware of the significant threats to their business posed by climate change and severe weather events both in London and to their supply chains abroad.

Jenny Jones AM, Chair of the Economy Committee said:

“It is vital that business owners in London, SMEs and large companies alike, understand the very real risk that climate change and severe weather events, both here and abroad can have on the future success of their companies. But today we heard that SMEs, which account for 90 per cent business in the capital, do not have the resources to protect and adapt themselves to the impact of severe weather events.

“We heard examples of what happens to businesses when severe weather events, such as Hurricane Sandy or the 2011 Thailand Floods, wipe out supply chains.

“London must build up its resilience to climate change risks, not just strengthening its infrastructure but also future proofing throughout the economy”.


Notes to editors

  1. The Economy Committee heard today that London is one of the leading cities in research, engineering and risk management to adapt to potential severe weather events. However, more needs to be done to map London businesses dependence on global supply chains and ensure SMEs have the resources to increase their resilience to climate change risks.
  2. The Economy Committee is investigating climate change risks to London’s economy. The first meeting was held at City Hall today to examine how businesses are incorporating risk assessment strategies into their business plans. Guests included representatives from PwC, Lloyd’s London, London Climate Change Partnership and London School of Economics.
  3. Jenny Jones AM, Chair of the Housing Committee is available for interview. See contact details below.
  4. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Alice Andrewartha on 020 7983 4603. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100