Climate adaptation and resilience financing is critical to the survival of the planet and brings significant economic potential

A new study published today by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in collaboration with the Global Resilience Partnership (GRP) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) lays out the investment thesis for the private sector to finance this space.

According to a new report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Global Resilience Partnership (GRP) that is responding to the PREPARE Call to Action to the Private Sector:

  • Financing climate adaptation and resilience is an opportunity for businesses and private investors—not a burden
  • Every dollar a company invests in implementing adaptation and resilience measures can yield $2 to $15 in financial benefits
  • Companies providing adaptation and resilience solutions could be worth nine times their current revenues in the future—and up to 77 times
  • Public and private sectors should act together against the increasingly disastrous impacts of climate change

DUBAI, December 6, 2023—The climate crisis is no longer theoretical. Increasingly certain and worsening impacts of climate change are resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars in economic losses annually, and affecting lives, livelihoods, and economies around the world. Global leaders and businesses are beginning to recognize the urgent need to invest in climate adaptation and resilience alongside mitigation—particularly in the regions most vulnerable to climate impacts. However, there remain immense needs for adaptation and resilience finance, with the private sector currently only contributing a small fraction.

A new study published today by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in collaboration with the Global Resilience Partnership (GRP) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) lays out the investment thesis for the private sector to finance this space. The report, titled From Risk to Reward: The Business Imperative to Finance Climate Adaptation & Resilience, will be launched today at COP28 in Dubai, alongside an announcement by United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, and USAID Administrator, Samantha Power, that BCG is responding to the PREPARE Call to Action—a growing coalition of major private sector players committed to advancing adaptation and resilience in developing countries.

This study is the first of its kind to detail the range of opportunities and financial benefits for the private sector to fund adaptation and resilience in both emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) and advanced economies.   

“The business case for adaptation and resilience has been elusive and entry points have been unclear,” said Rich Lesser, BCG’s Global Chair. “This report demystifies the imperatives and opportunities. It shows how companies and financiers can invest in ways that benefit their bottom line and contribute to the wellbeing of people and the planet. Unless private enterprises take these actions, they will face significant disruptions, impacting continuity, productivity, and growth. Resilient businesses contribute to a resilient world.”

Businesses at the vanguard of minimising climate risk will be at an advantage

Companies that are already implementing resilience-building measures such as water collection and storage are realizing benefit-to-cost ratios ranging from 2:1 to 15:1 and sometimes as high as 53:1, with interventions in EMDEs demonstrating some of the highest benefit to cost ratios. By changing traditional definitions of return on investment from cashflow generation to protecting value that is at risk from climate impacts, the report finds that companies can ensure business continuity, and long-term benefits for themselves and for local communities, economies, and ecosystems in a warming world. 

Investors can capitalise on a diverse pipeline of adaptation and resilience solutions

The rising number of governments and companies taking action to build resilience is driving demand for adaptation products and creating opportunities for investors. The report reveals a robust pipeline of deals that direct finance toward adaptation and resilience solution providers who earned valuation multiples of nine times their revenue across food, health, water, energy, and other sectors—with some companies generating valuations as high as 77 times revenue. 

Governments play a prominent role in unlocking and wielding private finance 

The public and social sectors play a critical role in directing private funds toward areas of greatest need, particularly in EMDEs. Their engagement provides the catalytic financial instruments, enabling environment and technical assistance needed to de-risk investments and enable private financing for adaptation and resilience.

“There is no time to waste. The levers for building resilience are understood. The solutions underpinning adaptation are ready to scale. The business case is clear,” said Nathanial Matthews, CEO of GRP.  “Crucially, this journey demands the active involvement of local communities, especially in the Global South, where a rich pipeline of investments is emerging. Now companies and investors must rise to the challenge—and the opportunity—to collaboratively build an adaptive and resilient world.”

Read the full report here.

Media contacts

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GRP: Karina Moxon:

About Boston Consulting Group 

Boston Consulting Group partners with leaders in business and society to tackle their most important challenges and capture their greatest opportunities. BCG was the pioneer in business strategy when it was founded in 1963. Today, we work closely with clients to embrace a transformational approach aimed at benefiting all stakeholders—empowering organizations to grow, build sustainable competitive advantage, and drive positive societal impact.
Our diverse, global teams bring deep industry and functional expertise and a range of perspectives that question the status quo and spark change. BCG delivers solutions through leading-edge management consulting, technology and design, and corporate and digital ventures. We work in a uniquely collaborative model across the firm and throughout all levels of the client organization, fueled by the goal of helping our clients thrive and enabling them to make the world a better place.

About Global Resilience Partnership 

The Global Resilience Partnership (GRP) is made up of 80+ organisations that work together to advance resilience through identifying and scaling on the ground innovation, generating and sharing knowledge, and shaping policy. GRP envisages an inclusive world in harmony with nature, that is better prepared to cope with shocks, adapt to change, and transform–all within planetary boundaries. The Partnership is registered as a non-profit organization in South Africa and co-hosted by the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University.

About USAID 

USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience.

USAID co-leads PREPARE through its Bureau for Resilience, Environment, and Food Security which works to create a world in which all people have sustained access to safe water, nutritious food, a healthy environment, and improved livelihoods as a result of locally driven development strategies that protect the planet and our future.