Adaptation Private Sector Initiative (PSI)

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.

PSI case studies database

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 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 in the respective entry under the spotlight.


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).