Private Company Adaptation to Climate Change

University essay from Lunds universitet/Avdelningen för Riskhantering och Samhällssäkerhet

Abstract: Despite climate risks posing a serious threat to business and business continuity, empirical research has shown little active involvement of the private sector in climate change adaptation (CCA). National plans of governments, as well as global agreements and reports, highlight the need for collaborative climate action on a global scale, placing special emphasis on private sector involvement as critical to the adaptation progress. This research explores private sector adaptation to climate change, through several methods, and ultimately seeks to answer the question of how private companies can achieve a more viable role in CCA. First, a scoping study of what is known in the scientific literature about private sector adaptation to climate change, was performed. Next, national adaptation plans of Singapore and Denmark were analysed. Lastly, annual reports of top 20 performing companies in Singapore and Denmark were reviewed, accompanied by interviews with key informants. Based on these methods, we argue that in order for private companies to have a more viable role, there needs to be; a strengthened enabling environment, with governmental policies setting long-term prioritisation for private company CCA, identifying what is expected of companies in terms of innovation, technologies and partnerships with the public sector, and how they should report on CCA initiatives. A discovery that could benefit from further research, is whether engagement with CCA is moreso for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), rather than larger companies, as these appear to be engaged with climate action focused on mitigation rather than merely adaptation.

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