Report Bids Business to Green the Economy

A new joint publication by the UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Oxfam, and the World Resources Institute, “Adapting for a Green Economy: Companies, Communities and Climate Change” makes the case for adaptations to climate change that build community resilience. Businesses rely on the social, ecological, and economic resources of communities. Especially in developing nations, challenges to communities are challenges to business. The major challenges faced today by communities in developing nations are related to climate change, including more frequent and intense storms, water scarcity, declining agricultural productivity, and poor health. Private sector investment to adapt to climate change contributes to sustainable development. Under the best practices that have been identified in part by the new report, investment by business also facilitates greening of the economy, becoming low-carbon, resource-efficient, and socially inclusive.

A 2010 survey of signatories to the Global Compact and UNEP’s Caring for Climate Initiative shows that more than 80% of responding companies believe that climate change poses a risk to their business and that adaptations to climate change provide a business opportunity. Addressing climate change will require “unprecedented levels of cooperation, collaboration and resource mobilization among governments, businesses, civil society groups and communities themselves.” At the intersection of business interest and community needs lay solutions that will build long-term resilience to climate change and create business value. These solutions provide economic growth that is sustainable, equitable, and green.

Prepared by Charlotte Ambrozek, Intern

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