Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Once again global business leaders at Davos have gone off narrative, by failing to identify “climate change” as their number one priority; instead voicing concerns about “over regulation” and economic issues.
Climate change fails to top list of threats for business leaders at Davos
Geopolitical uncertainty, over-regulation and cyber attacks among biggest threats to business, survey of CEOs finds
The high profile UN summit on climate change in Paris appears to have had little impact on the decision making and worries of global business leaders.
Despite concerns about its impact on extreme weather events, such as recent flooding in the UK, climate change failed to register near the top of the list of business threats, according to a survey of 1,400 CEOs from around the world compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and published at Davos this week.
Instead, over-regulation was listed as the biggest threat to business (by 79% of CEOs), followed by geopolitical uncertainty (74%) and other key threats including cyber attacks (61%).
Interestingly, people who make more of their money from government handouts, identified climate change as a much higher priority.
By contrast, a wider survey of economists, academics and civil society also produced by the WEF listed climate change as the biggest potential threat to the global economy in 2016. A failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation was seen as likely to have a bigger impact than the spread of weapons of mass destruction, water crises, mass involuntary migration and a severe energy price shock.
Read more: same link as above
PwC tried to explain away the result, suggesting that a low score on the climate question doesn’t reflect a lack of concern about the environment.
However, as we reported last year, climate change impacts were so low on the list of business priorities that in 2015, PWC didn’t bother adding the climate question to their survey.
I find it fascinating that over regulation and government economic management are topping business concerns. One consequence of government infatuation with green issues appears to be capricious, economically damaging government regulations, such as President Obama’s recent surprise 3 year moratorium on new coal mine leases on federal land.
Perhaps the government response to the alleged problems of climate change is a much greater concern for global CEOs, than any direct impact from weather related events on their business activities.
The PWC survey is available from the link below – click the “18th Annual Global CEO Survey” checkbox on the customised download panel.