DLA Piper is a leader in understanding and advising on legal liability and the legal risks associated with the impacts of climate change.

Adaptation to the natural hazard impacts of climate change is not only about increasing resilience to the physical impacts but about ensuring that the associated legal risk is minimised or avoided. Climate legal risk is the legal risk that accompanies a decision that is either affected by climate change, or a decision that will affect climate change.

Assessment and management of climate legal risk is becoming an inherent part of decision making. Legislation in many jurisdictions, directly or indirectly, requires climate change to be taken into account when making decisions about use of the built or natural environment. There is increasing pressure to regulate corporate governance by requiring more detailed reporting on a corporate sustainability, particularly how corporations have regard to economic, social and environmental responsibilities, each of which are affected by climate change.

In order to deal with the impacts of climate change, organisations need to develop climate change adaptation strategies that increase resilience not only within the origination itself but also its suppliers and service providers. Effective adaptation strategies target decision makers at all levels, from the actions of individuals through to those that manage systems. This can only be achieved if decision makers understand how their decisions affect or are affected by climate change. It is with the decision maker, we find, that knowledge and understanding of climate legal risk is most needed and most crucial.

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