Climate Change May Greatly Affect Global Businesses

August 12, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. accelerating [ak-SEL-uh-rey-ting] (adj.) – happening very quickly
Example: Environmentalists are worrying about the accelerating rate of disappearing animals.

2. finite [FAHY-nahyt] (adj.) – limited or with bounds
ExampleFinite supply of raw materials may decrease the company’s production.

3. threshold [THRESH-ohld, THRESH-hohld] (n.) – a place or point of beginning
Example: Most critical climate change thresholds often happen without warning.

4. surpass [ser-PAS, -PAHS] (v.) – to exceed; to be greater than
Example: Unexpectedly, the mining company surpassed everyone’s expectation regarding environmental advocacies.

5. viable [VAHY-uh-buh l] (adj.) – capable of working successfully; feasible
Example: The CEO approved the viable investment proposal because of its high success probability.


Read the text below.
A report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) last June showed that climate change will have drastic effects even to global businesses.

The report, which is entitled “GEO-5 for Business: Impacts of a Changing Environment on the Corporate Sector,” assessed the accelerating environmental changes nowadays. Some of the effects of climate change include shortages in natural resources and water supply.

Nick Nuttall of UNEP warns that changes in the global environment will further increase the demand on finite natural resources. According to the report, these human pressures on environmental resources indicate that critical environmental thresholds are either coming or are already surpassed. Because of such pressures, abrupt changes to life-support functions of the planet could occur.

Climate change can also affect operating costs, markets for products, availability of raw materials, and business reputations. Aside from these effects, the worsening climate change may also have great impact on construction, chemicals, mining, and food industries. Mining may specifically be affected due to water shortages.

The report also warned that tourism may also face challenges in the future. For instance, only less than half of all the ski resorts in the northeast of the US are likely to remain economically viable in the next 30 years due to increasing temperature.

To help prevent or lessen such effects, Nuttal suggested that governments include the environment when planning for future development. The government should also invest on electricity and transportation due to the growing population.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, how can the GEO report be of use to global businesses? Please explain your answer.
·         Do you agree that climate change has direct effect on businesses? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How can the business sector help save the environment?
·         In what ways can ordinary people help save the environment? Please explain your answer.


August 12, 2013