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business in South Africa is already proactivelyaddressing the climate change challenges throughenergy efficiency and other mitigation efforts, whichwill be showcased during COP17."The organisation recognises that South Africa needs toadapt to the changing climate in order to support itsdevelopment efforts and the country's competitiveness."To do this," says Constable, "an enabling and supportiveregulatory environment must be created by governmentin partnership with business, which provides forincentives for investment in low-carbon technologies andmitigation and adaptation actions. Equally important isour government's commitment to support industries thatmay be negatively affected by international measures." "The CEO Forum, therefore, wants to ensure thatclimate-related legislation and input into COP 17 takes into account South Africa's socio-economic andresource constraints and business realities, includingthe broad-based impacts on jobs and the economy as a whole," explains Brian Dames, the chief executiveof Eskom and the third co-chair of the CEO Forum. The Forum currently comprises 42 CEOs whorepresent a cross-section of South African industriesincluding: heavy industry, retail, mining, liquid fuels, manufacturing, banking, insurance, food and beverages and agriculture. The magnitude ofleadership support for this initiative is unprecedentedin South Africa's climate change response history andas such it heralds a new era of ownership by thebusiness sector of this critical issue. n" "THE CEO FORUM SUPPORTSSOUTH AFRICA'S TRANSITION FROMAN INTENSIVE FOSSIL FUEL-BASED ECONOMYTO A LOWER-CARBON, RESILIENT ECONOMY

n the face of climate change vulnerabilityand risks, businesses and cities aroundthe globe are becoming more keenlyfocused on developing effectiveadaptation strategies. More extreme weather events,decreased food security, an increase in water scarcitydue to changed rainfall patterns, a rise in sea levels - allof these impacts and others are compellingcorporations and communities to find sustainable waysto cope with these shifts. In order to respondproactively, both private and public sectors need todetermine the climate-related threats most pressing totheir operations. They need to be adept at measuringand reporting on climate risk. And, along withidentifying threats, they are wise to look at whatopportunities, or positive effects, can be created fromclimate change and capitalised upon. Both threats andopportunities can be factored into decision-making oroperational practices, to ensure that resources areeffectively allocated to enhance sustainability.TOOLS TO HELP EVALUATE CLIMATERISK POTENTIAL Climate risk mapping tools are being used extensively asa framework to assist businesses and cities in identifyingand managing current and future climate change risks.They look at ways to make infrastructure and physicalassets more resistant and durable. They can also look atthe evolution of regulations over time to identify if andhow client emissions could be covered by a givenregulation, and take into consideration other effects fromregulatory changes. This kind of tool conducts screeningassessments, highlighting those areas where climatechange can create opportunities for a business ormunicipality, or impacts that might endanger its survival.The types of "what-if scenarios" can include: n Finance and greenhouse gas emissions risk: Hasyour company assessed the financial impact ofreducing its carbon footprint, for example throughpurchasing carbon credits or other offsettinginstruments? n Infrastructure vulnerability and physical risk: Hasthe company infrastructure or the municipalitysuffered damage as a result of severe storms orflooding in the past? How are you going to mitigatethese risks in the future?n Markets and regulatory risk: Are your products andservices subject to known or pending climate-related regulation that could impact their viability? Questions such as these hone in on the critical issuesand lead not only to a comprehensive response report,but to a business continuity management plan as well,to develop organisation-wide or community resilience.This kind of planning should allow an organisation orcity to survive harm to part or all of its operationalcapability, if a significant loss of resources occurs.Taking this approach as soon as possible may well bringabout immediate savings, or prevent major costs whenclimatic changes become more pronounced.IMPACTS STUDIED IN SOUTH AFRICANMUNICIPALITIESMetropolitan municipalities such as eThekwini, SouthAfrica, which lies in the COP 17 host city of Durban,illustrate how climate change could have significantimpacts on water supply and demand and the coastalrisk of sea level rise. Vulnerability analyses of severalSouth African cities, including Durban, show that watershortages would not only severely affect city residentsand industries, but also agriculture. This, in turn, woulddistress the local food supply, as well as the livelihoodsof subsistence farming communities. A vulnerabilityAbove right: AntaminaMine -Tailings Dam 2 Far right: Rob Hounsome ASSESSINGCLIMATE CHANGE THREATS AND OPPORTUNITIES022SOUTH AFRICA SHOWCASEROB HOUNSOME, LEADER, SUSTAINABILITY SERVICES, GOLDER ASSOCIATES AFRICA (PTY) LTDI