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Businesses need more climate change protection

Photo: Florian Gaertner/Getty Images.

While governments and corporations are starting to protect themselves from the impacts of climate change, Morgan Stanley says private businesses need to do more.

Why now: The investment bank's strategists are recommending companies strongly consider preparing for a world with more frequent and intense weather events, rising sea levels, changes to agriculture and the spread of infectious disease.

"We expect the physical risks of climate change to become an increasingly important part of the investment debate for 2019," Morgan Stanley equity strategists Mark Savino, Jessica Alsford and Victoria Irving said in a research note Wednesday.

The note also highlights a number of worrying statistics.

  • Climate disasters cost the world $650 billion over 3 years and Americans are bearing the brunt.
  • North America absorbed two-thirds of the global cost of climate disasters over the last 3 years.
  • At $415 billion, the price of the disasters is equal to 0.66% of North America's GDP.
  • Near-term disruptions and long-term structural changes present risks to many sectors of the economy.

Go deeper: What your city's climate will be in 2080