Corporate climate risk is about profit, not fixing the problem

Wright, Christopher; Nyberg, Daniel

Publisher:  Climate & Capitalism
Date Written:  21/10/2016
Year Published:  2016  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20102

Corporate 'risk management' is concerned with protecting profits, not with protecting the planet or human beings.



Risk has become a central construct for how businesses should respond to climate change. As Hank Paulson, former Secretary of the US Treasury has argued, “climate change is not only a risk to the environment but it is the single biggest risk that exists to the economy today”.


By ignoring these factors, and constructing risk in a way that maximizes opportunities and profit, corporations emphasize a vision of human mastery over nature. Like latter-day wizardry, corporate risk calculations suggest that markets and capital can, not only control the natural world, but somehow anticipate it.

These risk calculations downplay the need for radical change and emphasize “business as usual”. Ironically, the devastating environmental change that is supposedly being anticipated and managed by corporate risk management is locked in to an ever more terrifying degree.
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