Adaptation Planning | Work & Business
Climate change will impact all sectors of society. The more that businesses plan and prepare now, the better workers and business bottom lines will fare.
The business sector in Aotearoa is mainly made up of small-to-medium-size businesses. With many competing demands, climate adaptation is often low on the list of priorities. Yet we’ve seen from recent local and global events how vulnerable Aotearoa is to international instability. Disasters also have an impact on local and rural labour markets. Climate change, like Covid-19, will make the business environment less stable.
Early adaptation will ensure businesses aren’t caught out by domestic or international climate disasters and can also support a climate-safe economy. Ideally, adaptation planning can create new opportunities for growth and trade.
We don’t know exactly where or how fast climate change impacts will emerge. But even with this uncertainty, we must adapt.
Economic modelling and planning tools such as Real Options Analysis and Dynamic Adaptive Pathways Planning incorporate uncertainty, and can guide business owners in how to stage investment decisions over time. These tools place explicit value on flexibility, agility and resilience – making investment as efficient as possible and adaptable to a range of climate futures.
Aotearoa now requires large financial market participants to assess and report climate-related financial risks. This new disclosure regime brings climate risks and resilience into the heart of financial and business decision making.
While the disclosure requirements currently only apply to large financial institutions, all businesses should begin to consider climate change in their risk management planning.
Māori business is leading the way for climate adaptation in Aotearoa. Māori business owners are researching and investing in climate-safe products and services grounded in mātauranga Māori.
Māori business owners also operate in a complex business environment in which intergenerational equity, rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga are prioritised.
Much of Māori business is in the agricultural sector. Investment to get started in agribusiness is large – it’s not just orchards, for example, it’s supporting infrastructure like irrigation, water storage and ongoing environmental monitoring. It’s crucial that hapū and iwi have the climate information they need to make the right decisions about what to invest in and where.
Māori businesses, like all businesses, need information about business insurance under climate change, as well as tools to support decision making. These resources highlight hapū and Māori business communities and the methods they’re using to plan and implement robust climate business solutions.
Our unique environment is a huge drawcard for tourists, but everything from jetboating to skiing, wine tasting to beach holidays will be affected by climate change.
Some aspects of tourism – its emphasis on place and stories of place, its connection to values such as manaakitanga, whānautanga and kaitiakitanga – provide tourism operators with a ready-made planning guide, as they consider how to climate-proof their operations.
Despite – or perhaps because of – Covid-19, tourism can take the lead in adaptation, by planning from and leading with culture as well as with up-to-date climate information.
These resources provide examples of how some tourism operators are factoring climate change into their business plans.