Nazir Jinnah: Businesses must adapt to climate challenges in 2024


Financial expert Nazir Jinnah has challenged African businesses to adapt to climate challenges. [Courtesy]

Financial expert Nazir Jinnah has challenged African businesses to adapt to climate challenges.

Jinnah said in 2024, the effects of climate change are poised to significantly impact businesses while presenting both challenges and opportunities for proactive adaptation.

In an interview with The Standard, Jinnah said as the world confronts the relentless onslaught of climate change, Africa is not immune to its far-reaching consequences.

He said the intensification of climate change in Africa manifests through rising temperatures, erratic weather patterns, and increased frequency of extreme events.

These environmental shifts Jinnah said pose direct threats to businesses, particularly those in agriculture, tourism, and infrastructure.

"Unpredictable weather conditions disrupt supply chains, leading to increased operational costs and reduced productivity," he said.

He further said agriculture, a cornerstone of many African economies, face the brunt of climate change with shifts in rainfall patterns, prolonged droughts, and more frequent floods that jeopardise crop yields and livestock productivity.

"Smallholder farmers, comprising a significant portion of the workforce, are particularly vulnerable, risking food security and economic stability," he said.

As a leading investor in the tourism industry, Jinnah said Africa's diverse ecosystems and wildlife have long been a magnet for tourists.

However, he said, "Climate change threatens this vital sector. Ecosystem degradation, loss of biodiversity, and extreme weather events can diminish the allure of natural attractions, impacting tourism revenues and the livelihoods of those dependent on the industry."

To avert these challenges, Jinnah said a time has come for businesses to mitigate climate risks by embracing sustainable practices.

"From energy-efficient operations to eco-friendly supply chains, reducing the carbon footprint contributes to both environmental preservation and long-term business resilience," he said.

Further, he said agricultural enterprises can adapt by diversifying crops, implementing water-saving technologies, and promoting sustainable farming methods.

"Investing in climate-resilient crops and practices ensures food security and economic stability for farmers," he said.

Jinnah also called on businesses to Leverage technology to monitor and respond to climate impacts is crucial.

From early warning systems to precision agriculture tools, he said innovation can empower businesses to anticipate and adapt to changing climate conditions.

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