Climate resilience framework developed to enhance SMEsWednesday, September 22, 2021
Jamaica recently developed a Climate Resilience Assessment Framework (CRAF), which will enhance climate-related risk management, climate responsibility, and financial good governance among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The framework was developed with financial support from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Readiness Programme at the Climate Change Division (CCD) of the Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate in collaboration with The Leap Company (Leap)— a Jamaica-based sustainable business advisory firm.
The framework, dubbed a first of its kind tool for the country, models that of a Climate Resilience Index (CRI) used by larger companies and was developed as a key step in mobilising the private sector towards low carbon and climate resilient development.
“Jamaica's situation as a small-island developing state means businesses must be equipped to understand and manage the business-relevant risks and opportunities presented by climate change if they are to survive and prosper. The data show that businesses that incorporate climate-related risks and act to lower their carbon footprint experience higher returns and attract new investors,” said Suzanne Shaw, director of Leap, in a recent statement.
“CRAF is the tool that has emerged as a result with directive from the CCD. It gives SMEs a tangible means to understand and assess their climate-related risks, new opportunities opening up to them, and approaches to mainstreaming climate change within the business model, which is vital given the increasingly climate change driven regulatory and business environment,” she added.
Taneque Heslop, project coordinator of the GCF Grant at the CCD, said that, while work was being done to increase private sector awareness of climate change risks, gaps were identified in relation to businesses' capacity to identify, assess, and manage climate-related risks.
“The partnership with Leap will be leveraged to bring the tool to a wider audience and work will be done to incorporate the framework in all future engagements with the private sector to mobilise greater resilience. Once the framework has been tested with a larger group of stakeholders it can be launched,” she said.
Donovan Wignall, president of the Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (MSME) Alliance, commenting on development of the framework said that the sector could reap real rewards as soon as it was sensitised on all the benefits.
“It is going to be a learning curve for some businesses, not all, and when everybody is fully up to speed it will augur well for the sector and for the country,” he said.