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Adaptation Private Sector Initiative (PSI)

Following a successful launch in 2011/2012, the Adaptation Programme of the UNFCCC Secretariat under its Nairobi work programme (NWP) on impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation to climate change is calling upon private sector organizations and other stakeholders to submit case studies that show innovative activities of adaptation to climate change. 

Please tell us your story on how your organization is engaging and adapting to climate change in a sustainable manner, reducing business risks, reducing and avoiding the impacts and the vulnerabilities posed by extreme climate events, and also profiting from the opportunities that changes in climatic conditions present.

Download and fill in the submission form with your organization’s case study, and send it to Please, refer to "NWP case study" in the subject line. 

The case studies will be shared publically in our dedicated online database



The Private Sector Initiative (PSI) aims to catalyze the involvement of the private sector in the wider adaptation community. The unique expertise of the private sector, its capacity to innovate and produce new technologies for adaptation, and its financial leverage can form an important part of the multi-sectoral partnership that is required between governmental, private and non-governmental actors. 

The PSI provides a platform for businesses to contribute in a sustainable and profitable manner to a strong and effective response, both in their own adaptation efforts and, importantly, in those of the most vulnerable countries and communities around the world. 

Image Joining the initiative

Partnership in the initiative brings a number of benefits to companies. These not only include the possibility to take part in activities mandated under the Nairobi work programme, but also include networking opportunities, reputational advantages and increased visibility, and association with the United Nations process for addressing climate change.
Partners meeting Partners of the initiative

The initiative is continuously expanding. This link provides a current list of private sector partners. Several companies have shared best practice adaptation activities as "Action Pledges" under the Nairobi work programme; these are included in the relevant partner profiles. The full database of Nairobi work programme partners can be accessed here.
Knowledge resources

Forward planning can help to manage risks, avoid unexpected costs and make the most of emerging opportunities. The knowledge resources page contains a number of tools and publications with information on how to assess climate change impacts and vulnerabilities, and take adaptive measures.

While many businesses are already taking action to mitigate climate change by reducing their carbon footprints, so far much less has been done by the private sector to address adaptation to expected climate change impacts. The difference between these two approaches is defined below. 

Adaptation:  Initiatives and measures to reduce the vulnerability of natural and human systems against actual or expected climate change effects. Various types of adaptation exist, e.g. anticipatory and reactive, private and public, and autonomous and planned. Examples are raising river or coastal dikes, the substitution of more temperature-shock resistant plants for sensitive ones, etc (IPCC 4AR).

i.e. activities that enable businesses and communities to become more resilient to the impacts of climate change (such as developing new water-treatment technologies for drought-prone areas, installing flood defenses, conducting a supply chain vulnerability assessment, etc.). 

Mitigation: Technological change and substitution that reduce resource inputs and emissions per unit of output. Although several social, economic and technological policies would produce an emission reduction, with respect to climate change, mitigation means implementing policies to reduce GHG emissions and enhance sinks (IPCC 4AR).

Wednesday, 26 June 2013
São Paulo, Brazil

PSI side event on showing successful adaptation activities and related challenges in the private sector 

30 November, 2013
Doha, Qatar

PSI Leaflet

pdf-icon PSI leaflet (640 kB)


Oxfam America PREP: pdf-icon Value Chain Climate Resilience - A guide to managing climate impacts in companies and communities

Global Compact Caring for Climate: pdf-icon Business and Climate Change Adaptation: Toward Resilient Companies and Communities

Climate Counts, 5th Annual pdf-icon Company Scorecard Report

NRT report: pdf-icon Building business resilience in a changing climate 

KPMG report: pdf-icon Climate change adaptation in the private sector - UNFCCC Private Sector Initiative (2059 kB)

Carbon Disclosure Project: pdf-icon Insights into Climate Change Adaptation by UK Companies

OECD: The private sector also faces significant adaptation challenges, and whether countries succeed at adaptation will depend on how well private actors adapt. Private Sector Engagement in Adaptation to Climate Change

Global Compact: pdf-icon Adapting for a Green Economy: Companies, Communities and Climate Change

Oxfam America: The adaptation marketplace - climate change and opportunities for green economic growth. Briefing Paper.

PWC. pdf-icon Business leadership on climate change adaptation: Encouraging engagement and action. Executive Summary.

Intellecap. pdf-icon Opportunities for Private Sector Engagement in Urban Climate Change Resilience Building. Report.

International Union of Railways.  pdf-icon Adapting Rail Infrastructure to Climate Changes (ARISCC). Project concept note.