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Climate change at work


The ESF in Cornwall is supporting research into business responses to climate change

A young researcher from the University of Exeter campus in Cornwall has been striving to get more local businesses to engage with climate change and boost the county’s low carbon economy. Kathi Kaesehage is working on a PhD project looking at how climate change is perceived by Cornish SMEs and why businesses rarely engage with its opportunities and threats.

Working with over 30 SMEs, Kaesehage has found that one important factor is that business leaders perceive climate change science as negative and impracticable. In response, she organised a workshop where Cornish business leaders, government representatives and scientists came together to discuss the importance of climate change for the future of Cornwall’s economy.

“Current climate change communications largely miss this point,” Kaesehage explains. “They are concentrating on improving the quality of climate science knowledge rather than recognising that end-users do not want yet more, often very similar, information.” The PhD project is part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) Research Programme, which is funded by the European Social Fund.