One of the more useful reports prepared for the recent Rio+20 event was a document outlining climate change risks and opportunities for businesses.
The report, Adapting for a Green Economy has become a useful guidance tool for business leaders and policymakers alike in identifying in practical terms what has to be done to adapt to the emerging realities of climate change.
The report is a must read resource for companies with a national, regional or global reach that are interested in increasing their strategic focus on adaptation in developing countries where they have operations, supply chains, employees and current or potential customers.
While many companies are focused on climate change mitigation - slowing the rate of climate change through reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and other strategies - most have yet to develop strategies for dealing with the immediate to long-term consequences of climate change.
The environmental, social and economic impacts of climate change are already being felt around the world, with the poorest nations and communities disproportionately affected. This report offers insights on important questions surrounding the role of business in adaptation:
- In practice, how can businesses address risks in their own supply chains and operations while also supporting the adaptation efforts of the communities on which they depend?
- How can the private sector build climate resilience in partnership with communities in ways that are mutually supportive?
- What are the barriers that may prevent effective business engagement in adaptation?
- How can business investment in adaptation complement necessary public policies, and how can public policies create the context for appropriate private sector action?
Developed in collaboration with Oxfam International, the World Resources Institute and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Adapting for a Green Economy is based on the results of a qualitative survey of business leaders who support the Caring for Climate initiative, a joint United Nations Global Compact-UNEP platform involving more than 400 businesses committed to advancing climate action.
There is much that businesses of all sizes and sectors can contribute to effective climate adaptation. This report provides actionable information that can help create effective strategies that benefit business and communities, coupled with common-sense suggestions for supportive government policy.