Climate change presents complex and interconnected risks to businesses, their suppliers, and to the employees and communities along their supply chains. Mitigation efforts—those focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions—are vital to any company’s climate strategy and critical to global efforts to avoid unmanageable climate impacts. As the impacts of climate change are increasingly felt around the world, however, it has become clear that simultaneous efforts are necessary to increase adaptive capacity and build resilience.
Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties.” In the context of climate change, resilience is the ability of a system or community to rebound following a shock such as a natural disaster. Building resilience requires not only recognizing potential hazards like extreme weather events, but also understanding the underlying vulnerabilities that may affect recovery from them.
The Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) this September presents a major moment at which new commitments can be established to build greater resilience. The Summit—an important moment on its own—will also build momentum toward COP24, where resilience will be an area of focus, through the 2019 UN Climate Summit, for which resilience is one of six themes.
For business, building climate-resilient supply chains will enable impact at scale and deliver substantial benefits.