How partnerships help small businesses adapt to climate change– LSE

15 Sep 2020

Micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries often face major barriers within their business environment to adapting to the impacts of climate change. These barriers include a lack of access to finance, markets, insurance, climate-smart inputs and services, and knowledge about adaptation options.

Many of these barriers can be overcome through the activities, products and services of other private sector actors. There has been a lot of interest in unlocking the resources of the private sector to plug gaps in adaptation finance, at national and international levels. There has, however, generally been limited clarity around how this can be achieved.

Multi-stakeholder partnerships are becoming an increasingly important development paradigm. NGOs hope that supporting private sector actors to develop adaptation goods or services, which they have an ongoing incentive to maintain, will produce longer-term resilience that extends beyond a given programme or project.

Through action and investment from donor-funded and public sectors – in areas such as research, data access, relationship development, business incubation and access to finance – multi-stakeholder partnerships are supporting private sector actors to deliver adaptation resources to small-scale producers.

Market-based partnership strategies envisage that multi-stakeholder partnerships will become self-sustaining. But, private sector provision of goods and services that aid adaptation among SMEs often breaks down following pilot projects, when donor funding and brokering activities are withdrawn.

Dependence on market mechanisms, specifically on low-risk and commercially-viable business opportunities, meanwhile, makes multi-stakeholder partnerships less likely to deliver adaptation support to the poorest, most vulnerable and most geographically remote groups.

To mobilise more inclusive partnerships, identify risks and prepare mitigation measures, sufficient investment from NGOs and other donor-funded development actors into partnership design and strategy at the early stages of developing a multi-stakeholder partnership is required. Yet market systems are dynamic and changing, requiring partners to continually re-evaluate and renegotiate the terms of a partnership. Multi-stakeholder partnerships are therefore likely to require longer-term monitoring, evaluation and assistance than is permissible in short-term development projects.

Building Back Better: Why Europe Must Lead A Global Green Recovery- Yale Environment

15 Jul 2020

As governments spend massively to revive economies, a huge battle has emerged around whether the economic recovery should also achieve other goals, particularly cutting the emissions that cause climate change. Those advocating green spending say the $10 trillion that governments have already committed to stimulus should be just the beginning, and an even bigger pile of cash is now needed for expansive “green new deals.”

In most countries, the political forces are blowing against green recovery. Distant, abstract goals like global warming have fallen far down the list of priorities. Some have actually relaxed pollution control standards. Unlike the last financial crisis, when nations spent up to 15 percent of their stimulus money on clean energy, few have such forward-looking plans this time.

Europe, however, is the exception. There, the European Green Deal — a $1.1 trillion climate-focused infrastructure and decarbonization plan that had been cooked up before the pandemic — looks set to get even bigger now. A hyper-green Europe will have little impact on the climate unless the better technology and business practices nurtured at home can spread widely to the places that cause most emissions. Only 9 percent of world emissions come from Europe, a share that has dropped steadily and will decline even faster the more Europe invests in weaning its economies off of fossil fuels.

Markets in Europe are already open to global competition, which will help make the whole world greener. For example, Europe has a highly competitive market for building renewable power. Open competition in these sectors of the energy system is essential because it produces bigger demand for clean energy, which means more robust international supply chains, faster global improvement in technology, and cheaper options for all countries.

Europe is also poised to show the world how to achieve a “just transition” — a concept built centrally into the European Green Deal and designed to look out for those, notably workers, hurt by technological transformation.

Gender, Climate, and Security (Report) – UN

15 May 2020

In many regions of the world, the impacts of climate change are exacerbating conditions that threaten peace and security. Rising temperatures, extended droughts, or heavier, harsher storms are resulting in loss of livelihoods, increasing competition over scarce resources and fueling migration and displacement.

Gender norms and power structures play a critical role in determining how women and men of different backgrounds are impacted by – and respond to – such crises. Pre-existing inequalities, gender-related roles and expectations, and unequal access to resources can deepen inequality and leave some groups disproportionately vulnerable.

In his 2019 Report on Women, Peace and Security, the UN Secretary-General declared an “urgent need” for better analysis of the linkages between climate change and conflict from a gender perspective. Understanding the gender dimensions of climate-related security risks is not only key to avoiding exacerbating vulnerabilities, but also to uncovering new entry points for advancing gender equality, improving climate resilience and sustaining peace.

Case studies, from Egypt, Columbia, the Asia Pacific, Sudan, and other countries, contributed by researchers and practitioners form across the globe illustrate the different ways in which gender, climate change and security are linked. Understanding these linkages can help policymakers, development practitioners and peacebuilders mitigate risks of violence and leverage opportunities to build resilient, inclusive, and peaceful societies.

The report assesses entry points for integrated action and provides recommendations for policymakers, practitioners and donors on advancing three inter-related goals: peace and security, climate action and gender equality. The recommendations include:

  1. Integrate complementary policy agendas
  2. Scale up integrated programming
  3. Increase targeted financing
  4. Expand the evidence base

What 1,000 CEO’s really think about climate change and inequality – HBR

15 Oct 2019

To solve the world’s biggest challenges, such as climate change and inequality, the business community will have to play a critical role. And we need CEOs who understand the challenges and want to drive deep change in how business operates.

A study on CEO attitudes came out to shed  light on how chief executives think about sustainability and other global challenges. The study collects insights from more than 1,000 CEOs. The underlying context for this year’s report is that the world is running out of time on climate change.

The report is worth spending some time with to explore the three “calls to action” they identified: (1) raising ambition and impact in CEO’s own companies, (2) “changing how we collaborate with more honesty about the challenges,”and (3) “defining responsible leadership,” which I read as the CEOs committing personally, as human beings, to change. Some key insights:

  • Business leaders feel pressure to build more sustainable enterprises from key stakeholders. Customers and employees were the top two vote getters when the CEO’s were asked which stakeholders would be most influential on how they manage sustainability.
  • Increased tension among CEOs about the perceived tradeoffs between sustainability and traditional financial metrics.
  • 88% of the CEOs “believe our global economic systems need to refocus on equitable growth.”
  • All of the large company CEOs agree that “sustainability issues are important to the future success of their businesses.” (Funny side note: just 62% of those CEOs would link their pay to sustainability outcomes).
  • Only 21% think business is playing a critical role in contributing to the Global Goals.
  • While 59% say they’re deploying low-carbon and renewable energy, only 44% see a net-zero future for their company in the next decade.