All stakeholders, from investors through to general public
opinion, have a growing awareness of the phenomena linked
to climate change and the relative impacts1.
Italy is considered to be the Mediterranean country most vulnerable to the effects of this change. The recent report “Risk Analysis. Climate Change in Italy”, published in 2020 by the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change Foundation (CMCC), highlights that the adverse impact would affect all sectors of the Italian economy, and especially infrastructure - due to the intensification of geo-hydrological instability -, agriculture and the tourism industry.
Urban areas would also be very vulnerable to climate risk due to their large built-up environments with very few green areas. Cities could experience serious adverse impacts on people’s health and safety due to temperature rises, the greater frequency and longer duration of heatwaves, and intense precipitation events.
With the aid of its checklist, COIMA identifies the main risks, the possible mitigations and the types of improvement which can be made in the active management of property assets.
A preliminary identification of the main physical risks to assets is made by consulting extreme climate scenarios (such as RCP 8.52). In the case of geographical areas affected by significant risks, such as zones subject to flooding or landslides, the investment is further analysed with the involvement of sector experts for a more in-depth assessment of the risk and impacts.
1 2015-2019 was the hottest five-year period on record and it is currently estimated that the temperature is 1.1 degrees higher than that of the pre-industrial age (1850–1900). Forecasts indicate that if emissions continue at the present rate, the rise in temperature by the end of the century could be between 2.6 and 4.8 degrees.
2 RCP 8.5 – Representative Concentration Pathways
Climate change: physical and transition risks
Landslides and floods have a direct impact on buildings and transport, energy and communication infrastructures, damaging them and putting them out of operation. In some circumstances, these risks may lead to the decision not to invest.
Rising sea levels may also cause serious damage to properties, with consequent maintenance, repair or rebuilding costs. Rising sea levels may also have repercussions on a vast scale, affecting assets’ ability to retain their value in the long term.
The intensification of extreme weather events such as heatwaves may trigger an increase in the running costs of property assets.
The growing need to control emissions and the adverse effects they generate is leading to the definition of ever tightening energy regulations, and thus to the need to modify non-performing buildings to bring them into line.
Major transformations and modernisations are currently ongoing in technological solutions, materials and the efficiency upgrading of the production chain, with a particular focus on circular economies in the process of construction and renewal.
In a market where the quality and sustainability of real estate products is constantly growing in importance, an under-performing portfolio is exposed to a risk of obsolescence, and thus an equally high market risk.