Climate Risk

Climate Change Impact

Climate change is already having a significant effect on Canada and other parts of the world. Losses due to extreme weather (i.e., rain/flood, high wind, hail, wildland fire) having been growing at an alarming rate across the globe. A recent study has projected that by the end of the century, the economic losses could be six times higher than previously estimated. In another report published earlier this year by the Swiss Re Institute, it is predicted that with the current global warming trajectory, by 2050, the economic losses due to climate change could be up to 10% of the total global economic value. The changing climate includes increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and the creeping changes in climate parameters, force consideration of potential changes over the long service life of assets and resources.

What is Climate Risk? 

Climate risk, on the other hand, focuses on the climate change issue from a different perspective compared to sustainability. While sustainability addresses how to mitigate climate change using a reactive approach to what is already present, climate risk addresses the expected risks that are associated with the growing issue of climate change. The knowledge of climate risks can be used proactively to help companies plan for expected risks that may impact their business or industry and help mitigate the issues climate change can cause. At governmental level, the climate risk assessment would assist in developing policies to support businesses, industries, and people in their efforts to mitigate the risks due to climate change and their impact. Such skills enhancement requires the knowledge advancement aspect different from the traditional field of environment and sustainability.

Climate Risk Programs

Currently, there is a scarcity of graduate educational programs to train professionals in advanced knowledge of climate risk assessments. Traditional graduate training has not been updated to reflect the need to formally educate future working professionals about relevant issues and topics related to climate risk in diverse disciplines covering science, engineering, business and social science. Hence, at present, learners are expected to educate themselves about most of these topics outside of their formal training. 

The multidisciplinary Climate Risk Assessment and Opportunity Graduate Diploma Program fills in this gap and aims to produce professionally literate graduates that can make informed and responsible decisions related to climate risk.