The Queensland Government has launched the 'Small and Medium Enterprise Sector Adaptation Plan'. The Plan identifies potential climate change risks specific to small and medium-sized enterprises, and strategies for government, business, and other stakeholders to manage those risks.
SMEs make a significant economic contribution to the Queensland economy, with the sector being the state's largest employer, and making up 97.7% of the state's businesses. As such, the Plan provides a useful resource for businesses in this sector to consider and manage their climate risks and opportunities.
The report will also be of interest to the insurance industry, as it notes that some SMEs have encountered challenges in either affording or obtaining insurance for climate-related risks, and identifies addressing insurability as an action item for government and relevant industry stakeholders.
Climate change is already resulting in adverse business outcomes for Queensland’s SMEs including business interruptions, increased investment and insurance costs, and declines in financial indicators such as measures of value, return and growth. After natural disasters, SMEs face greater short-term losses than larger enterprises, and may have less capacity to adapt and survive for various reasons.