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Business attitudes, perceptions, exposure, vulnerability and related legislation of climate change.

Public Knowledge were initially commissioned by Climate North East to conduct mixed methodological research to identify business attitudes, perceptions, exposure, vulnerability and related legislation of climate change in 2010.

As part of this initial commission 300 12-15 minute telephone interviews were undertaken with businesses based in the North East. We quizzed Directors, Managers and other senior personnel about the affects of and opportunities presented by both extreme weather and changing legislation in relation to Co2 emissions, in addition to asking questions about climate change generally.

In 2010 a second qualitative phase was also undertaken based on the recruitment of phase one respondents who thought that both changing weather patterns and changes to CO2 legislation could present opportunities for the business. Digitally recorded in-depth interviewers were then undertaken with these companies using a 30-40 minute semi-structured interview guide.

In 2012 Public Knowledge were commissioned by Climate North East to re-administer the quantitative survey amongst North East based businesses and a further 300 interviews were conducted using a modified but comparative questionnaire to assess any changes in the intervening period.

The results show that 60 per cent of businesses in North East England have been adversely affected by severe weather events, including rain and flooding, over the past two years and the recent high rainfall only further highlights the disruptive effect this can have on businesses and individuals alike.

Both surveys were vital in being able to show Climate North East that there are real concerns and challenges facing businesses across the region in terms of both extreme weather and the move to a lower carbon economy. However the 2012 survey also indicated that many businesses have taken action in the interim period in response to extreme weather.


“We were both impressed with Public Knowledge and the way that the work was conducted, from submitting the initial tender, through the duration of the project, right up to completion. The work was of a very high standard, time lines were met and best of all the reports provided were easy to read and well presented. The slides were pretty good too. It is good to work with suppliers/partners who can bring that professionalism and wealth of experience to keep us on track!”

Jennifer Atkinson, Communications Officer, ClimateNE