Practices to be implemented when considering climate change

Climate resilient practices

As climate change further implicates the world, it brings in significant changes and impacts in the business fraternity, challenges as well as opportunities.

“As extreme weather conditions become frequent, it causes damage to the businesses in the form of infrastructure damage, and disruption in the work process,” shared the CEO of Construction Development Corporation Limited, Karma Galey.

As such cases happen, it is important to curtail the impacts through adapting climate resilient practices. Karma Galey pointed out that such practices are done through certain measures, like improvisation on the field, and keeping themselves at the safer side but technical measures are very expensive.

President of the Bhutan Chamber for Commerce & Industry (BCCI), Tandy Wangchuk, shared that as impact of climate change increases, climate resilient businesses are important. 

He said, “At this stage, the private sector lacks access to finance to venture into projects, such as renewable energy. In terms of agriculture, there’s also plans such as hydroponic farming, but access to finance is a huge challenge.”

Tandy also added that the private sector is looking into helping the business fraternity, having discussions with development partners from abroad.

According to the Minister for Industry, Commerce, and Employment, Lyonpo Karma Dorji, the government can effectively support the transition to carbon neutrality while minimizing the negative impacts on the economy by creating a supportive policy environment, providing incentives, fostering innovation, and facilitating collaboration.

However, he also added that certain sectors will be impacted, in terms of venturing into going green.

Lyonpo said, “All greenhouse emitting industries will face challenges. All ferro silicon industries emit Greenhouse gases (GHG). One aluminum emitting industry can offset Bhutan’s carbon negative status, and few ferro silicon industries in Samtse will soon make Bhutan carbon neutral from its carbon negative status.”

Bhutan has ventured into hydropower projects, an investment in renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure. According to Lyonpo Karma, although the economic revenues may be more from such investments, however, it actually reduces job opportunities. He pointed out that Bhutan should pursue adaptation and resilient economic development instead of blindly committing to carbon neutrality.

Green Economy and Green Growth

Green economy and green growth refer to concepts related to sustainable development and climate friendly practices. Bhutan has ventured into promoting green entrepreneurship and creating green jobs.

Bhutan has also initiated the use of EV vehicles as the country’s goal towards zero-emission mobility by 2050.

The World Bank in 2021 also approved USD 52.5 million financing to help the Royal Government of Bhutan strengthen fiscal and financial sector stability, green and private sector led growth.

Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) has also developed a sustainable financial inclusion to advance the resilience of the most vulnerable to the climate change and the Green Finance Roadmap. The Governor of RMA, Dasho Penjore in 2020 said he sees a connection between financial inclusion and climate change adaptation and mitigation. He pointed out that there is a momentum to advance the resilience of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, by advancing sustainable financial inclusion and committing to advance this agenda.

Although there are many challenges associated with climate change and its crises, it also opens opportunities for people, especially in terms of innovation. It creates a platform for green startups and green entrepreneurship and green jobs.

According to the Climate Centre’s report ‘Companies and Climate Resilience: Mobilising the Power of the Private Sector to Address Climate Risks’, globally, in most economies, the private sector holds up to 85 percent of all investment and makes over USD 80 trillion of institutional investments globally each year.

The report pointed out that private sector is a vital partner to reduce the risk of disasters, and building resilience at the scale needed will not be possible without the active participation from the private sector.

In turn, the private sector needs to protect itself from the potential dangers of natural disasters and actively contribute to the crucial task of building resilience of its assets, workforce, supply chains and customers. The report stated that in doing so, the resilience of people and communities will be strengthened through access to economic security which builds capacity to withstand or recover faster from climate extremes.

In 2016, the World Economic Forum (WEF) described climate change as the highest impact risk to business. Research in the journal Nature suggests that the impact of climate change on the market value of global financial assets to be USD 2.5 trillion and could be as high as USD 24.2 trillion under the worst-case scenario.

In the Bhutanese context, the private sector in Bhutan is relatively underdeveloped and quite small. The representative of the private sector, the BCCI recognizes the impact of climate change on businesses sharing how it can impact the production to cross border trade.

However, the access to finance has been a huge disadvantage, and it is high time for the national agencies to work with international organizations to adapt climate resilient practices and incentivize industries to go for climate technology.

As youth are now taking up interest in entrepreneurship, there are innovative ideas that are climate resilient in nature.

For example, Aerotech is a start-up that focuses on drone technology. Started in 2020, it is the only tech-based startup that focuses on drone technology which can actually purify the air.

Another tech-based startup, Leaf Creative solutions which makes products using 3-D printer focuses on being environment friendly, targeting waste management through recycling as their products can be made through recycling PET bottles.

Innovative ideas are getting the frontliner in business ideas, with young people coming up with ideas to practice climate resilient practices. During the Fabfest organized by Druk Holdings and Investment on July 2023, there were few projects that were green in nature.

One project was about harvesting rainfalls during the monsoon to use for household chores, one project was on agriculture resilient product that will combat changing weather patterns, and a project on producing filaments for 3-D printing machines through recycling.

Tuvalu, a country in Oceania is expected to be one of the first countries in the world to be completely lost to climate change. As an attempt to preserve its culture and history, the country is going digital, the first digitized nation in the world.

Taking this as an example, as climate change increases its impact, innovative and creative ideas, and digital work will take the frontlines. The future will be digital economy.

This story is supported by the BMF and GEF Small Grants Program of UN in partnership with RGoB

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