Bdaily talks climate change with Jennifer Atkinson
Ahead of this year’s Big Eco Show Bdaily is talking to key partners of the event, to get their take on the North East’s eco-efforts. This week, we talk to Jennifer Atkinson, of ClimateNE.
ClimateNE deliver research intelligence, support and resources to keep North East businesses updated with the threats and opportunities posed by climate change. Their mission is to keep the region at the forefront of the low-carbon economy, and this means engaging with communities, local authorities and schools, as well as businesses.
Jennifer explains: “Many businesses are beginning to recognise that becoming involved in low carbon activity is a requirement, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it offers them savings and increased opportunities.
“Particularly with the recent floods here in the North East, it’s really made a lot of people wake up to the need for pay attention to climate, and factor contingencies into their normal risk plans. It’s no longer just about fire planning and so on.
“For many companies, flooding and loss of equipment for instance could put them out of business, and they now realise the need to look at the risk. Even over the last two years, we have seen a real change in attitude.”
A recent survey from ClimateNE, based on telephone interviews with over 300 senior businesspeople, found that 40% of businesses agreed that climate change could present opportunities for them.
In a 2010 survey, 15% of respondents were already incorporating extreme weather into their continuity and disaster planning. This has more than doubled to 32% in 2012.
With the appetite there among businesses for taking advantage of low-carbon opportunities, ClimateNE are now looking to equip the region with the relative support and advice that it needs to allow the green economy to flourish.
Jennifer continues: “I think it’s really important that businesses can see practical and possible ways in which they can become involved in this. That’s why the Big Eco Show has a lineup of great speakers who are going to deliver real advice, in an accessible way, including physical handouts for businesses.
“There’s a temptation for businesses to think its not for them, and they don’t have time to devote to it, with resources as stretched as they are. And I think if we can share the knowledge and experience, in as practical way as possible, it will help to inspire many to do more.”
ClimateNE are also drawing on their national network to promote the region’s existing low-carbon efforts and further potential across the country. Jennifer hopes the Big Eco Show will catch the ear of national bodies.
“We work closely with a number of central Government bodies, such as the DEFRA, and the Department of Energy and Climate change - we’ve continually talked to them about the Big Eco Show, so they are sending representatives.
“The show was born from discussions around the need to open a window on what’s going on in the region. We have a community of fantastic businesses in the North East that are contributing to the low carbon economy, and making a change.”
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .
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