Climate change risks – the future of law as we know it?

In 2020, our Future Worlds 2050 project explored what emerging signals of change today might mean for the world by 2050.

Our research included in-depth interviews with experts and key thinkers across a range of industries to understand the influence of the increasing call to attend to the critical issues of our climate.

The top five global risks identified in the World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risks Report for 2020 are all environmental or climate-related, encompassing:

  • extreme weather events
  • failure to adapt to climate change
  • man-made environmental damage
  • biodiversity and ecosystem loss
  • natural disasters

The acute and chronic physical impacts of climate change are a significant risk to business operations, infrastructure, supply chain and beyond.

Across market verticals, risk professionals are worried about climate risk.

The climate crisis is a risk multiplier across society and for the legal sector brings new and wicked problems around attribution, jurisdiction and accountability.

Changes in societal-ecological systems often produce a cascade of unanticipated consequences and legal needs.

As the legal profession begins to understand the full possible legal implications of climate change risks, Nigel Brook and Zaneta Sedilekova from Clyde & Co LLP share their understanding of the emerging physical, liability and transition risks and the growing role for lawyers in climate change litigation.

The insights in this Horizon Scanning report are a timely introduction to the areas of risk and evolving roles for and demands on the legal profession.

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