Companies across various industries and geographies are already experiencing the adverse water-related impacts of climate change, resulting in disruptions to operations, increased costs, depreciation of assets, and strained relationships with local stakeholders. The significance and urgency of the impacts, however, is not reflected in the climate adaptation planning and management practices undertaken by the private sector overall, despite advancements in recent years.
To build resilience, the private sector would benefit from consideration of physical climate impacts beyond its operational boundaries—to their core operations, value chain, surrounding communities and broader networks—to better integrate water and climate efforts already underway, invest in solutions to address physical climate impacts, support community resilience, and partner with others on developing and implementing those solutions. Therefore, climate change adaptation not only seeks to lower risks to companies associated with a changing climate, but also has possible opportunities.
There are cases of private sector leadership across different industry sectors, yet much more needs to be done. Solutions are clear, action needs to be accelerated, and partnerships will continue to be important.