Promoting business resilience to climate change

Commit to responsible climate adaptation

Aligning to a 1.5˚C World—Accelerating Business Action for Resilient Economies and Communities

The impact of climate change is already being felt. Warming oceans, water variability and increasing incidences of drought, flooding, snow melt and climate-related diseases are already negatively affecting business and society. Failure to adapt to these circumstances will have serious long term consequences for the resilience and sustainability of businesses. And investors are finally beginning to take notice with estimates placing trillions of dollars in manageable assets at risk due to climate change.

Recognizing the severity of the issues before us, the Paris Agreement was a call to action on climate mitigation and on adaptation with a global goal to:

  1. Enhance adaptive capacity and resilience
  2. Reduce vulnerability by contributing to sustainable development to ensure an adequate adaptation response, so that we can meet the goal of holding average global warming below 1.5˚C

This call builds on previous frameworks such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and recognizes that effective adaptation and resilience measures can contribute considerably to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the 17 Global Goals. Indeed, effective sustainable development policies must acknowledge climate realities by contributing to positive mitigation and adaptation outcomes.

Given the crisis at hand, it is no longer possible to focus only on mitigation — there is a great need to address adaption and resilience as well. Although there are clear and distinct actions we can take, we must continue to identify and scale those actions to contribute to the climate agenda in a more holistic way. Businesses can play a critical role in highlighting the opportunities at the for greater adaptation and resilience.

To support the UN Climate Summit’s Political Signal developed by the Adaptation and Resilience Coalition including Egypt, the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Malawi, the Netherlands, St. Lucia, and the UN Development Programme for enhanced adaptation and resilience action, we call on companies to do more by, as relevant to their company:

  • Acting now to respond to immediate climate impacts and to support the most vulnerable members of society, including by, as appropriate:
    • Significantly scaling up capacity to prepare and respond to disaster through increased access to mechanisms that enable early action, alongside climate risk insurance and other social safety nets
    • Intensifying efforts to increase food and water security, particularly for smallholder farmers
    • Prioritising and resourcing regional and country owned approaches in developing countries and communities facing climate related vulnerabilities, especially in SIDS and LDCs
  • Building resilient futures by putting climate risk at the centre of decision making, including by, as appropriate:
    • Integrating adaptation and resilience into long-term planning and allocating central capacity to oversee delivery, including through long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies, or other relevant long-term strategies
    • Increasing the resilience of our economies and financial systems by taking steps to integrate climate risk into investment decision making and business planning, including through disclosing and pricing risk; while making every effort to avoid additional financial burdens in developing countries in a manner consistent with sustainable development
    • Enabling and accelerating transition to resilient land use and ecosystems; emphasising the importance of protecting biodiversity and of nature- based solutions
    • Equipping countries, businesses, youth and other stakeholders with tools to meet future challenges by sharing knowledge, data, and expertise; including through the development of metrics and encouraging sharing and dissemination of environmentally friendly technologies
  • Urgently increasing the availability of adaptation and resilience finance, including by, as appropriate:
    • Significantly scaling up international public finance for adaptation in developing countries and achieving a better balance between mitigation and adaptation flows; including through tools to reduce financial risk such as concessional and grant-based financing
    • Providing technical assistance to strengthen policy frameworks and encouraging a greater share of financing for adaptation and resilience action at all levels, including at the local level, in line with national plans and policies
    • Mobilising transformational investments from the private sector; including by developing innovative public/private partnerships and other tools to leverage new investment

The Coalition will reconvene in the margins of COP25 and COP26 to consider progress towards the aims of this Call for Action, including those that will be delivered through the various initiatives launched at the Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit. The 2020 Climate Adaptation Summit and the Year of Action launched by the Global Commission on Adaptation also serve as an opportunity to further reinforce our common goal of accelerating adaptation action.

We ask companies to support this call to action by submitting their commitment, and in doing so have your companies listed on the Call to Action and profiled at the Summit. In signing, your company would be willing to take further action in line with the call to action but as relevant to your companies’ specific contexts and strategies. Please submit your commitments to the co-leads and copy Mai-Lan Ha at ha@unglobalcompact.org.

Please find the full Call to Action Sent to Member States here.

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