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OPINION | Will climate change be the new Covid-19? Brace for the next big business threat

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History gives us some clues: 1816 was the "year without summer" due to a volcanic explosion. A decade of drought in North America in the 1930s exacerbated the impact of unsustainable farming practices which led to deepening the Great Depression. What could the future economic ramifications be in a time of climate volatility? asks Joanne Henstock. 

Despite all our technological prowess, humanity still depends on a healthy natural environment for water, breathable air, food and shelter.

But with ever-increasing urbanisation and population growth, and continued use of polluting, carbon-intensive technologies and economies that overexploit ecosystems, we are about to face exponential environmental challenges, according to EY’s Megatrends 2020 report, which flags coming business challenges. 

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