Business action for Adaptation and Resilience: Bridging gaps to deliver the Sharm El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda

By Climate Champions | December 3, 2023

As communities throughout the world continue to experience the devastating impacts of climate change, the need for accelerated action on climate adaptation and resilience has never been more apparent. Businesses have a major role to play in driving adaptation and resilience. Progress has been made already, but critical gaps remain.

At COP28, the first annual implementation report of the Sharm El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda (SAA) takes stock of progress towards its implementation. Launched at COP27 by the Egypt Presidency, through collaboration with the High-Level Champions (HLCs), the SAA provides a list of priority global adaptation outcome targets that are urgently needed to increase the resilience of 4 billion people by 2030. The Agenda focuses on the transformation needed across six impact systems: food and agriculture, water and nature, human settlement, coastal and ocean, infrastructure, and health; along with two cross-cutting enablers of policy & planning and finance. These systems are intertwined and require a diverse set of actions and solutions across sectors and systems delivered and enabled by a range of actors, including business and financial institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and policy makers at all levels

The SAA Report elevates the role of businesses in delivering economic, social and environmental resilience across priority systems. The report recognizes the work advanced by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with PwC which presents a clear approach that businesses can use to support their business case, using the three elements of enhancing resilience, identifying opportunities, and collaboration with others to promote action on adaptation.

At COP28, business communities will explore opportunities to accelerate adaptation action and this will inform a Discussion Paper, set to launch after COP28. The Paper will contain examples of business action across the SAA systems to help inform and demonstrate where businesses have made progress and where efforts need to be accelerated.

Preliminary analysis already shows that although system-level transformation has not occurred at the speed required, in recent years there has been substantial progress by leading international organizations in bringing businesses together and producing supporting resources to accelerate adaptation action. Business awareness and action across food and agriculture, and water and nature systems appear to be progressing at a faster rate compared to health, human settlement, and infrastructure systems, where private sector contributions are seemingly lagging behind on assessing and responding to climate adaptation risks and opportunities.

There is no better time for business to understand the opportunity presented by climate adaptation and resilience investment, and one we cannot reach the SAA without.

Sharm-El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda

Sharm El-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda reveals progress by state and non-state actors on adaptation and resilience across key systems

The SAA’s first Implementation Report, launched today at COP28, reveals positive signals of progress across key systems. Combined, they underscore a collective resolve to ramp implementation of adaptation solutions, enhance planning to mitigate climate risks, and close the adaptation finance gap.