Responsible climate adaptation

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

The role of business to help us adapt is more urgent than ever before as we face the impacts of climate change. Warming oceans, water insecurity, increasing incidences of drought, flooding, glacial retreat, and health effects of a changing climate are already negatively affecting business and society. According to the World Meteorological Organization, there have been more than 11,000 disasters due to weather, climate and water-related hazards over the past 50 years at a cost of some $3.6 trillion US dollars. Extreme weather and climate-related hazards have also come at a very high human cost, especially in low and lower middle-income countries.

Failure to adapt to these circumstances will have serious long term consequences for businesses. 

This is why UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for a breakthrough on adaptation and resilience, : “Adaptation cannot be the neglected half of the climate equation. Support for adaptation and resilience is a moral, economic and social imperative. For every dollar invested in climate resilient infrastructure, six dollars can be saved.” Investing in climate resilience will help businesses create jobs and save money.

Businesses will have a unique opportunity to contribute to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 1-12 November 2021. The summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and showcase commitments to support practical adaptation and resilience action which spans beyond the summit. To accelerate action ahead of COP26, the High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action, launched the Race to Resilience campaign that aims to catalyse action from a range of actors including the private sector, to build the resilience of 4 billion people, especially vulnerable groups and communities, by 2030. Individual companies will be invited starting March 2021 to join the Race To Resilience, by joining an approved Race to Resilience initiative.

Water is perhaps the most visible and direct way climate change impacts our planet. With intensifying floods and prolonging droughts, two billion people around the world are currently living in water-stressed areas. In many ways, the worst impacts of climate change will be felt through water. Unless urgent action is taken, these impacts will only worsen in the coming years and decades. 

Water Resilience Coalition

The Water Resilience Coalition is one way to showcase your commitment on adaptation and resilience through the United Nations Global Compact. It was founded in 2020, as an industry-driven, CEO-led coalition of the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate that aims to elevate global water stress to the top of the corporate agenda and preserve the world’s freshwater resources through ambitious quantifiable commitments and collective action in water-stressed basins. 

Science-Based Targets Network

You can also lead the way to a nature-positive economy and help reverse nature loss by committing to set science-based targets for nature with our partner, the Science-Based Targets Network. As business activities are one of the primary drivers of nature and biodiversity loss globally, setting targets for nature in line with science is a crucial step towards restoring balance to the global commons and help create a resilient future for all. 

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