Adaptation’s X Factor: The Private Sector

cotton farmerBy: Tim Hill 

The Global Adaptation Institute (GAIN) will be featuring a five-part series this week on GAIN.org dissecting the United Nation’s Private Sector Initiative, as well as zooming-in on private sector best practices in adaptation. Return throughout the week to learn more about water, food & agriculture, coastal protection and energy companies who have found business opportunities in building global resilience. 

The United Nations has been helping save lives and improve livelihoods across the globe for over half a century and will for centuries to come. Various avenues are used to explore possibilities to improve socioeconomic situations throughout the world whether a person lives in a developed or developing country. The U.N. works with hundreds of corporations, governments, NGOs, nonprofits and more. However, over the past decade the private sector has begun to play a larger role.

The private sector has begun investing in opportunities that coincide with global demand for resources and dependable infrastructure and energy systems. The urgent need to adapt to changing global forces is now more vital than ever and investment from the private sector is necessary. Innovative solutions and technology must be implemented to ensure efficient use and protection of resources for future generations. Developing countries are in the most urgent need for investment in adaptation to help communities adjust to shifting populations, climate change and urbanization.

In this effort, the U.N. created the Private Sector Initiative (PSI), a program and database that showcases global best practices in adaptation. Featured organizations have adapted to global challenges and embraced vulnerable regions as adaptation investment opportunities. These opportunities can include:

·      New market opportunities and expansion;

·      Development of climate friendly goods and services;

·      Potential cost savings;

·      Risk reduction measures, including physical operations;

·      Climate proofing the supply chain; and

·      Enhanced corporate social responsibility.

Featured private sector companies often reported quick return on investment. This United Nations effort has helped to increase awareness of corporate citizenship work on adaptation and shares findings with leading international and local organizations. The featured companies, once joining PSI, participate in a number of UNFCCC events share expertise and adaptation opportunities.

With a populations growing from 7 to 9 billion people by the mid-21st century, global challenges will require investment to properly adapt.  The private sector must be at the table because sufficient funding from the public sector won’t provide sufficient funding to ensure lives and livelihoods are protected.

Visit the Private Sector Initiative on the United Nations website, or by clicking HERE. Return to GAIN.org throughout this week to learn more about PSI and participating organizations.