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12 July 2016

Small Business key to tackling climate change

The Government’s Committee on Climate Change has backed FSB calls for a more resilient business community to tackle the risks posed by climate change to the UK economy.

The Adaptation Sub-Committee of the Committee on Climate Change has today published a key report which reaffirms the real and growing risk of climate change to small businesses, and warns the risk of flooding must be addressed urgently.

The findings of ‘UK Climate Change Risk Assessment Evidence Report,’ also draws heavily from Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) research showing two thirds of small businesses have been negatively affected by severe weather in recent years.

Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said: “This report recognises the great risk posed by flooding and extreme weather on small businesses. It also confirms the problems we have consistently identified with access to affordable small business flood insurance.

“Severe weather is expected to increase the severity and frequency of flooding, leaving vulnerable regions at real risk of greater damage and disruption. The economic fallout
extends beyond those businesses who actually receive flood water through their doors. It disrupts supply chains, distribution channels and impacts whole communities.

“Small businesses need to be empowered to improve their own resilience. That should be supported by bringing flood insurance premiums down to an affordable level. Flood risks must also be tackled and defences improved so that businesses have the confidence to remain at the heart of their local communities.”


FSB research suggests up to 75,000 smaller businesses at risk of flooding could currently struggle to find affordable flood insurance. Small businesses are not covered by the new Flood Re agreement and so FSB is working closely with Government and industry to explore how best to increase resilience and reduce insurance costs for businesses in high-risk areas.

Only 25 per cent of microbusinesses have a resilience plan in place that specifically includes severe weather. Today’s report recognises Government has a role to play in supporting businesses to improve their resilience through policies, regulation and awareness raising measures.

The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment Evidence Report analyses risks and opportunities to the UK from climate change and will inform the UK’s second ever Climate Change Risk Assessment due out in early 2017. FSB will continue to work with Ministers, officials and the insurance industry to explore and agree solutions to small business resilience and the lack of available flood insurance.