Transitional risks will be particularly difficult for large polluting industries to address. Some are starting to articulate these concerns, like Shell, one of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies.

Stanley Black & Decker’s climate disclosures show the company sees risks not just from climate change, but also from other companies adapting to it. It expects a more crowded market for its key components as more businesses transition to green technologies.

Climate change presents business opportunities, as well as risks

For businesses that commit and take action towards a lower-carbon economy now, there are also opportunities (pdf) to be had, not only risks to endure.

They have the chance to pioneer less carbon-intensive markets, create innovative products, and if they proactively change their business, will see less disruption if and when regulations are imposed.

“The first movers, those that are ahead of their peers, are going to benefit more and they’re going to have fewer costs, in terms of disruption to their business model, and they’re going to be recognized by customers and investors as the leaders,” says Fischweicher. “So as others follow suit, they’re one step ahead.”

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