Climate Expert: a bottom-up approach to SME resilience to climate change

Frei-Oldenburg, Angelika; Janina Wohlgemuth, Sylvia Maria von Stieglitz, Cosima Stahr and Frederik Eisinger 2018: Climate Expert: a bottom-up approach to SME resilience to climate change. In: Schaer, Caroline and Natasha Kuruppu (eds.): Private-sector action in adaptation: Perspectives on the role of micro, small and medium size enterprises. Nairobi: UN Environment, 159-177.

Small and medium entreprises (SMEs) are affected by extreme weather events and by the slow onset of changes to the climate, such as water scarcities, flooding and heat waves. At the same time, SMEs play a key role in supplying goods and services to the population. If engaged effectively, the private sector, and especially SMEs, is uniquely capable of developing locally relevant, effective adaptation solutions, which can increase the resilience of society due to the vital role of SMEs within communities.

The Climate Expert approach developed by the GIZ program ‘Strengthening the Capacities of the Private Sector to Adapt to Climate Change’ (PSACC) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), described in this article, aims to provide approaches and tools to strengthen the resilience of SMEs. Experiences from SMEs in the four pilot countries of Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Morocco and Rwanda have certain similarities and suggest that these insights will also hold true in other contexts.

The UNEP DTU Partnership ‘Perspectives’ Series share expert and practitioners’ opinions and experiences on emerging topics related to climate change. In this new volume, thirteen articles from a wide range of experts and practitioners dedicated to this emerging but growing area of work, are focusing on the perspectives of MSMEs in developing countries.

This latest volume shares original insights and reflections from a wide range of experts, on the role and prospects for the private sector to build climate change resilience in an attempt to help bridge that gap. It focuses on the perspectives of micro-, small and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs) in developing countries, which are the backbone of developing country economies and are particularly vulnerable to climate change.