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Multinational and large national corporations and climateadaptation: are we asking the right questions? A review ofcurrent knowledge and a new research perspective

Averchenkova, Alina ORCID: 0000-0002-6445-5819, Crick, Florence, Kocornik-Mina, Adriana, Leck, Hayley and Surminski, Swenja (2016) Multinational and large national corporations and climateadaptation: are we asking the right questions? A review ofcurrent knowledge and a new research perspective. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 7 (4). pp. 517-536. ISSN 1757-7780

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Identification Number: 10.1002/wcc.402


Adapting to climate change requires the engagement of all actors in society. Until recently, the predominant research focus has been on governments, communities and the third sector as key actors in the adaptation process. Yet, there is a growing emphasis internationally on understanding the role of and the need to engage businesses in adaptation given their potential to finance projects, develop technologies and innovative solutions, and enhance the scale and cost-effectiveness of certain adaptation measures. Large national and multinational corporations are among the key actors in this respect. Already, many of these corporations are purportedly taking steps to adapt their operations to climate change. Some stated reasons for their engagement include minimising potential impacts on value chains, improving resource efficiency, enhancing production of sustainable raw materials, and supporting customers’, suppliers’ and communities’ climate change adaptation efforts. However, there is a paucity of work analysing adaptation actions by these corporations, their motivations and contribution to broader adaptation and climate resilient development efforts, as well as possible instances of maladaptation. We apply a three-tier framework on drivers, responses and outcomes to examine the state of knowledge according to recent literature on private sector and corporate adaptation to climate change. Our review highlights that the literature on the impact and outcomes of corporate adaptation actions is sparse and we consider the implications for future research. Our analysis concludes with a reflection on the relevance of corporate-led adaptation – for the companies themselves, policy-makers at all scales, as well as society at large.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Wiley Periodicals
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2016 11:46
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2024 21:48
Projects: ES/K006576/1, 308438, UNSPECIFIED, UNSPECIFIED
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, Seventh Framework Programme, The Global Green Growth Institute, The Grantham Foundation

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