Published: Wed, Sep 18, 2019
Type: Publication

Published shortly after the landmark report by the Global Commission on Adaptation, WBCSD’s report brings together important global developments and latest thinking on climate adaptation and resilience, with particular focus on private sector climate resilience. It builds on the need for businesses to prepare for both the physical risks that are associated with climate change, as well as the associated transitional risks on the path towards a net-zero economy.

Adaptation clearly delivers a triple dividend in terms of avoided losses, economic benefits and social and environmental benefits.

Ambitious mitigation is crucial to reducing long-term climate costs. This ambition will translate into the deep and systemic transformation of global economies and associated business activity. It will require reprioritizing economic issues according to the magnitude of change that is required, the interconnected risks across our global systems, and the urgency of a rapidly diminishing timeframe.

Successful businesses will be those that are able to adapt to and thrive through this transformation.

Over the past year, WBCSD has been working with the business community on their imperatives for climate resilience. Companies need to prepare for both the physical risks that are associated with climate change, as well the associated transition risks on the path to an economy that is net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Businesses need to integrate their climate change risks into their Enterprise Risk Management processes, and factor climate action into their decision-making processes.

There are three key steps that businesses can take to build business climate resilience:

1. Develop and maintain ambitious mitigation efforts. If a business makes progress in its mitigation efforts, it becomes less vulnerable to disruptive risks, such as policy and legal measures, resource scarcity or adverse market developments.
2. Adapt to ensure business continuity in the face of climate-related physical risks. Businesses must assess and evaluate climate-related physical risks throughout their operations, supply chains and across the communities in which they operate.
3. Assess the connections, dependencies and value to society and nature. The connections, dependencies and interrelationships between climate and society, climate and nature and climate and sustainable development will increase public pressure on the true purpose of business activities and the role of business in society.

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