Adapting for a Green Economy: Companies, Communities and Climate Change
WRI, Oxfam, UNEP, 2011
by: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

This report is very much focused on private sector led initiatives to responding to climate change. The report is based upon the results of a survey of business leaders committed to advancing climate action,especially in ways that build the resilience of vulnerable communities in developing countries. It offers help to companies with national, regional or global reach to develop strategies for dealing with the immediate to long‐term consequences of climate change in developing countries where they have operations, supply chains, employees, or customers.

A central message of the report is that community and social risk of climate change challenges are also business risks – businesses fail in failing societies and it is difficult to separate community well‐being from companies’ viability and, in turn, economic growth. The report mentions that business response to climate change forms part of the transition to a ‘green economy’, defined as one that is low‐carbon, resource‐efficient and socially inclusive. It goes on to say that, in a green
economy, growth in income and employment can be generated by strategic public and private investments that reduce GHG emissions, improve resource efficiency and reduce loss of biodiversity. Businesses can accelerate this transition by aligning their investments with climate change adaption opportunities, and in doing so green the economy. The report concludes that the private sector is a critical sector in addressing the needs of vulnerable communities and has much to contribute to the development and implementation of climate adaption strategies, including sector‐specific expertise, technology, financing, efficiency and entrepreneurial spirit. The key is to find exactly where business incentives align with communities’ adaptation needs.

Copyright United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs