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Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI)

Climate Change Adaptation

As the impacts of climate change become more apparent, climate change adaptation is emerging as an important part of the international climate change agenda. In order to increase climate resilience in the EBRD’s countries of operations, we are systematically integrating climate risk assessments and adaptation measures in our investment operations.

The impacts of climate change – already seen through temperature shifts, extreme weather events and rising sea levels – are certain to have wide-ranging effects on many kinds of businesses. Reduced availability of water and energy - as a result of increasing temperatures and more variable precipitation levels - can increase the costs and/or reduce benefits obtained from using these resources.

Furthermore, changing climatic conditions can alter demand for certain services and goods. Extreme weather events caused by climate change may also accelerate the deterioration of key assets such as buildings, infrastructure, and machinery. In this way, climate change is leading many businesses to rethink their strategies and find ways of adapting to already shifting conditions.

Many of the countries in which the EBRD operates are particularly vulnerable to climate change. This is in part because of their geographical location and characteristics, but also a consequence of historic under-investment, which has resulted in aging infrastructure and facilities that are less able to withstand changes in climatic conditions.

The EBRD supports its clients in identifying those climate change impacts that are likely to affect their operations. This is expected to lead to the formulation of adaptation strategies that increase resilience through improved practices, and investments in measures and technologies that are better suited to a changing and more variable climate, and which reduce long-term risk.

The EBRD’s work on climate change adaptation reaches many sectors of the economy, such as water supplies, hydropower generation, coastal infrastructure and water-intensive industries such as agribusiness and mining. Investments in making these sectors climate resilient can help businesses to reduce costs, maximise profitability and increase competitiveness.