Climate Change Laws and Corporate Awareness

Imagine a scenario from 2028 or 2029 where China amounts for nearly 20% of global GHG emissions. California has imposed permanent rationing on water and other resources; malaria cases have been reported amongst tourists from major European tourist destinations African continent faces severe heat waves.

Humankind is facing one of the most significant challenges of modern times. Our ways of living have led to the industrial revolution boom but have damaged the ecosystem to a great extent. Today, the damage has reached an extent where the loss is irreparable and irreversible. With the current knowledge of climate science, it is a grim situation that the world is facing and will significantly impact the “doing good business” significantly.

Climate change will directly impact companies, i.e., on the infrastructure, investments, procurements, to name a few. As legislation becomes comprehensive and voters become aware of the problem, the government will respond to the consequences of weather change and the costs of adaptive policies. Though the law and the regulatory framework for the companies to operate, it is the political will and the swiftness to implement such laws to bring the desired changes.

Organizations must create a robust legal base and collaborate with the political leadership to bring the laws that help in curbing GHG emissions. In this regard, it is not surprising that the company’s approach to climate change will go beyond operational effectiveness, becoming more strategic.

If the government achieve its commitments, there will be a domino effect as expectations of entrepreneurship, investors “diligence on the risks of climate change, and the role of state and local authorities change. Climate change-related issues will also arise in company law concerning the disclosure of risks related to climate change.

Companies “willingness to disclose climate change-related management activities and greenhouse gas emissions have increased dramatically in recent years. Shareholders have become aware and demand to adopt transparency and action on the effects of climate change on companies and organizations, on GHG emissions. Although it is difficult to determine how much a company should disclose, it is clear that many companies do not intend to disclose the risks of climate change.

When companies talk about the risks of climate change, it is very vague and incomplete, thus, making it difficult for the investors to seek a severe assessment of the risks of changing climate. If companies believe climate change in one part of the world will have less impact than another nation or continent, they will likely underestimate the risks they face in their global supply chains and markets.

Companies in the energy, transport, agriculture and forestry sectors are particularly vulnerable. They may face increased pressure to disclose how they view and deal with the impact of climate change on their business models and value chains. The act of disclosure can help companies identify and mitigate the risks of climate change.

The consequences of climate change and environmental constraints are not limited to adverse effects on a company’s financial profile. At the same time, an aggressive climate policy enforced by government bodies at the international level to combat climate change from an economic point of view is likely to be the best deal in the long run. Businesses should try to avoid politicizing their business concerning climate change, but they must support policies and policymakers committed to reducing emissions.

For both humanitarian and business reasons, companies of all sizes must take action. Companies can take a position by assessing emissions, developing climate action plans, setting emission reduction targets, measuring progress and supporting measures that advance climate protection. While many companies view climate change as a matter of corporate social responsibility, business leaders must approach climate change as a business decision and focus on strategic threats and opportunities. We conclude that climate change is an emerging problem and that businesses and the public health community need to work together to lead. Although individual managers may disagree about the immediate and significant impact of the problem, companies must act.

Voluntary emission reductions are more important than public policies to achieve the pace and scale of reductions needed to limit the worst effects of climate change. By taking the lead in helping regions anticipate and mitigate climate change risks, businesses can advance their interests and build goodwill toward the communities where they operate. In addition, companies taking the lead in climate change over the next 20 years will reduce emissions and gain credibility amongst employees, customers, and suppliers and set up a path to corporate leadership.

Climate change is on the global agenda, prompting politicians and business leaders around the world to act. Unfortunately, it hampers efforts by companies and governments to reduce CO2 emissions while their prices rise. Climate change will damage economies, destroy populations, increase resource scarcity, and impact the cost of doing business.

In the end, companies should be ready to respond to the changing regulatory landscape and the effects it has on potential climate change laws. As the scope of the new area emerges, companies may face legal challenges related to the transition to a lower-carbon global economy. The pressure created by climate change law and awareness towards the same, regardless of its success or failure, may affect the operating environment. A growing body of jurisdiction can drive policy changes that facilitate disclosure. It might result in climate-related data held by governments and corporations regarding climate change becoming publicly available and potentially driving climate-related claims.

To dampen the climate change impacts, the companies must initiate climate awareness campaigns in collaboration with the national and international climate agencies. Involving media in spreading an important climate change and its impacts message will enhance the awareness levels amongst the public. Highlighting the launch of a subsidy programme by the company or creating a green source of energy in a local town or initiating a local coastal cleaning drive, or adopting new green technology for new manufacturing line can be some of the initiatives that the companies can highlight can spread a word about and raise the awareness level. Involving the nation’s youth in building an image of corporate sustainability leaders and conducting various activities that spread the message of adopting sustainable living standards will further enhance the awareness levels. Furthermore, brainstorming about implementing the laws that may strengthen implementing climate change laws and discussing the same amongst the public will strengthen the climate awareness campaign.

Despite the difficulties and mixed success of climate change law to date, this global trend is pushing boundaries, prompting policy and behavioural change, and creating a growing body of precedent worldwide. Claimants are bringing novel and creative legal arguments, and, in some cases, courts are demonstrating a willingness to take creative approaches to these issues.

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