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Business, NGO, political titans tell companies to eschew “what is causing climate change?” and get on with addressing the risks of the potential economic fallout

It’s called “Risky Business”.

If you are an employer, employee, investor, customer, supplier or public official, you’d be well advised to pay attention it to it.

The “Risky Business” project, a little more than a year old, focuses on quantifying and publicizing the economic risks from impacts of the changing climate. It is decidedly not a participant in the raging debate over whether climate change is largely “man-made” or natural. And its leaders even disagree what’s to be done in dealing with climate change.

Rather, “Risky Business” has a somewhat more limited — but very substantial — public relations mission. As The New York Times reports, the organization has undertaken the monumental task of convincing all U.S. business leaders that “Shifts in weather over the next few decades will most likely cost American companies hundreds of billions of dollars, and they have no choice but to adapt.” The overriding goal of the organization is to stimulate companies to action addressing climate change as “real, immediate and potentially devastating to the business world.”

The “Risky Business” leaders — especially a former U.S. senator and five former Cabinet members — are pragmatic. They are pushing for business — and general public — to mount political action to move Congress to, finally, get serious on climate change. Hal Harvey, chief executive of Energy Innovation, says the political process “has done ‘bupkis’ on climate change.”

The project, funded mainly through business generated-philanthropic foundations,is not completely alone in this mission. For some time, the insurance industry —  arguably the champion of risk management — has called for political action on the issue of potential impact of climate change on insurance rates, premiums and payouts. The Insurance Information Institute’s recent position on the issue: “…climate change could lead to losses on a scale never before experienced.”