1887

OECD Environment Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies on environmental issues prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal authors are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language English or French with a summary in the other if available.

English

Private Sector Engagement in Adaptation to Climate Change: Approaches to Managing Climate Risks

There is growing international interest in the planning, financing and implementation of adaptation to climate change. However, the discussion to date has primarily focused on the public sector’s role, with the private sector viewed primarily as a source of funding or financing. Relatively little attention has been paid to how the private sector is responding to the risks and opportunities from climate change. In this context, this analysis aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of private sector’s role.

This paper examines the private sector’s progress in adapting to climate change by considering information from sixteen case studies, drawn from a range of industries across the private sector. This is complemented by a high-level analysis of broader private sector adaptation based on responses to the 2009 Carbon Disclosure Project questionnaire. The case studies provide insight into companies’ awareness of potential climate risks and vulnerabilities, their progress in assessing specific impacts on their businesses and possible ways to respond to them, and their implementation of adaptation measures and strategies to manage these risks. The analysis also examines how companies are taking advantage of new business opportunities arising from climate change.

The paper explores companies’ motivations for implementing adaptation measures, and establishes common factors which can affect companies’ capacities to adapt, their incentives for action, and their perspectives on the need to adapt. The analysis considers how these factors can both encourage and impede adaptation, and assesses potential public sector roles for eliminating barriers to action, encouraging engagement and incentivising private sector investment in adaptation.

English French

Keywords: private sector, risk management, adaptation, climate change
JEL: M19: Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics / Business Administration / Business Administration: Other; Q54: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming; Q58: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Environmental Economics: Government Policy
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