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UN report says climate change offers big opportunities for businesses

Date
21 June 2011
UN report says climate change offers big opportunities for businesses

NEW YORK: A new study shows 86% of global businesses that are signatories to the United Nations Global Compact and United Nations Environment program Caring for Climate initiative see climate change as an opportunity.

The results are included in a report designed to assist businesses in adapting to climate change, jointly released by the two UN organizations, with the support of Oxfam and the World Resources Institute.

The report, Adapting for a Green Economy: Companies, Communities and Climate Change provides guidance to business and policy makers in the lead-up to Rio+20.

Manish Bapna, Managing Director, World Resources Institute said: “In this changing environment, companies that move first to address the risks and develop innovative strategies to adapt to climate change are likely to be the winners and gain a competitive advantage moving forward.”

Georg Kell, Executive Director, UN Global Compact
said: “Climate adaptation offers a pathway to help communities that are already feeling the devastating impacts of climate change. At the same time, it creates a wealth of new opportunities for the private sector.”

Taking results from a 2010 survey of companies involved in Caring for Climate, comes the compelling case for the private sector to adapt to climate change in a way which supports the growth of developing countries too.

Raymond C. Offenheiser, President, Oxfam America said of this incorporation of big businesses and developing communities: “Since companies depend on community members as suppliers, customers and employees, and need to count on local services and infrastructure to be able to operate efficiently, the well-being of communities on the frontlines of climate change and the viability of companies are intricately intertwined.”

Rupert Posner, Global Director of Energy, The Climate Group says: “The report shows that almost as many businesses see climate change as a threat to their business as see it as an opportunity. There is no hiding the fact that climate change presents real threats to business but it also offers new opportunities. Those businesses that will be successful will be those that fully understand both and incorporate them in to their business planning.”

Read the report on WRI.org

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