RESPONSES OF COMPANIES IN RESPECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUE

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RESPONSES OF COMPANIES IN RESPECT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUE

AN ESSAY ON

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN BUSINESS (IBO 3004)

DECEMBER 2008

INTRODUCTION

The industrial revolution of the eighteenth century has brought about increase in the consumption of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other green house gases in the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and the cutting down of forest (Deforestation).

These emissions have thickened the greenhouse blanket cause gasses to be trapped and the surface of the earth temperature to rise slightly.

The resultant effect of this is climate change which has been on the rise and as such becomes a major source of global. Business organisation has not been left out of this concern because no business operates in isolation of the environment.

The organisation’s general environment consists of broad trends in the context within which a firm operates that can have an impact on its quest to gain competitive advantage. The success of any firm is rooted in environmental analysis to identify market opportunities and avoid the risk or threats posed by the market environment. A firm must therefore ensure that it is adapted to the need of the market place than that of its competitors in other to gain strategic competitive positioning.

There must therefore be an in depth understanding and analysis of this environment in order to gain competitive advantage. One of the broad contexts in the general environment that requires urgent attention in the world is climate change issue.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which was established in 1988 to assess scientific, technical and socio-economic relevant to the understanding of climate change stated in its second assessment report of 2001 that “climate change represents opportunities and risks for human development”.

If climate change represents opportunities and risk for human development, it therefore means that organisations must take the issue of climate change seriously because organisation with good policies on climate change can position themselves for utilizing the vast opportunities in today’s competitive world while those that pay ‘lip service’ to the issue of climate change put themselves in the position of been edge out in today’s world of hyper competition.

CLIMATE CHANGE

According to Houghton et al (2001) Climate change can be defined as “statistically significant variation in either the main state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period”

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The United Nation Framework Convention on Climate (UNFCC) 2002, states that climate change is variation in the climate which can be attributed to human activity either directly or indirectly, and stresses that it must be in addition to natural variation being experience during the same period of time.

According to the report of this convention, the global climate change is cause by the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the lower atmosphere. The global concentration of these gasses is increasing, mainly due to human activities such as combustion of fossil fuels (which releases carbon dioxide) and deforestation (because forests remove carbon ...

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