The secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has launched a new online tool that showcases how businesses and communities can adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change.
The new Adaptation Private Sector Initiative database on the UNFCCC web site features climate change adaptation activities pioneered by leading private companies.
Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Levis, Nestle and Starbucks are among a slew of large multinational companies who are sharing details of successful, business-friendly practices via the database, alongside a host of other household names. The database contains details of activities both on how companies can make profits or savings, or prevent losses through adaptation-related activities.
By showcasing private sector adaptation success stories, we intend to help both communities and businesses become more climate-resilient and to put the benefits and business sense of adaptation firmly on the agenda of the private sector. Climate risks which affect communities around the world are always also business risks, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, speaking from the World Economic Forum in Davos.
In 2011, ninety percent of the recorded natural catastrophes were weather-related. According to the UNs top climate change official, climate disasters such as extensive drought in Africa or massive floods in South East Asia can have enormous impacts on the operation of any local or global business and consequently on its revenue stream, and both businesses and governments at all levels need to prepare.
There are currently around 100 examples of adaptation actions listed in the UNFCCC Private Sector Initiative database, which are both practical and in many cases scalable. The activities are undertaken either alone or in partnership with other stakeholders, from a wide range of regions and sectors, and also cover activities such as the development of climate friendly goods and services and climate proofing the supply chains of companies. Examples of best practices include efforts to make drinking water clean and safe in developing countries and efforts to improve the yield of coffee beans in regions that are particularly vulnerable to climate change.
Governments can take heart from and be inspired by these private-sector initiatives. We have seen good decisions on adaptation emerging from the recent UN Climate Change Conference in Durban last year, including a decision to launch an Adaptation Framework and a Committee which will provide high-level guidance on adaptation action, as well as a new Technology Mechanism, which will boost cooperation on adaptation technologies, the UNs top climate official Ms. Figueres said.
At the same time, the initiatives detailed in the database both show how the private sector can secure early advantages by adapting without waiting for absolute policy certainty at the international level, and how governments and the private sector can work together to respond to climate change now. Public-private partnerships and cooperation with a wide range of stakeholders is becoming increasingly important to ensure successful implementation, she added.
In addition to the new database, the UNFCCC secretariats Momentum for Change Initiative provides a platform to showcase successful public-private partnership at all levels that have led to real benefits for both people and the climate.