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Climate change adaptation across businesses in Australia: interpretations, implementations, and interactions

Abstract

Climate change and associated processes can increase the occurrence of some natural hazards and threaten business operations. Therefore, it is widely recommended businesses respond to climate change and implement climate change adaptation. Worldwide, businesses make efforts towards climate change adaptation, but investigation on such efforts is still required. To partially fill this research gap, the paper explores businesses adaptation efforts in the Hunter Valley, Australia. The paper collects primary data from open-ended interviews to 10 representatives of local businesses and supporting organizations. The paper reveals that businesses interpret climate change in different ways. While some businesses are sceptical about climate change, others are aware of it and its impacts on everyday operations. Businesses therefore implement adaptation by integrating climate change into everyday operations and continuity planning. The paper also shows diverse interactions occurring between businesses and other local stakeholders such as governments and communities. Usually, higher government levels offer vague and limited support to businesses and inhibit their adaptive efforts. Meanwhile, interactions between businesses and City Councils can be both collaborative and fragmented. Some businesses also interact with local communities by disclosing information about their operations and response to climate change. The paper discusses these findings and provides conclusions under the form of recommendations for policy and research on Australian businesses and climate change adaptation.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    https://unfccc.int/topics/resilience/resources/adaptation-private-sector (Access: 25 January 2021).

  2. 2.

    https://www.fsb-tcfd.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/FINAL-2018-TCFD-Status-Report-092518.pdf (Access: 25 January 2021).

  3. 3.

    https://www.climate-change-performance-index.org/country/australia (Access: 25 January 2021).

  4. 4.

    https://www.coastadapt.com.au/ (Access: 29th December 2020).

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Acknowledgements

The Authors would like to thank research participants for their time and availability, and the reviewers for their comments that contributed to improve the quality of the paper. Giuseppe Forino received financial support from a PhD scholarship by the University of Newcastle.

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Forino, G., von Meding, J. Climate change adaptation across businesses in Australia: interpretations, implementations, and interactions. Environ Dev Sustain 23, 18540–18555 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-021-01468-z

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Keywords

  • Disaster risk
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Private sector
  • Business
  • Australia