October 27, 2021

The Business Case for Investing in Resilient Coastal Ecosystems

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

By 2050, the global community will face annual costs of over $1 trillion to coastal urban areas as a result of the combined effects of rising sea levels and extreme weather events. These impacts are projected to be unequally distributed and certain countries, such as Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developing Countries (LDCs), are far more exposed and will experience losses in a more extreme manner.

Protection and restoration of coastal ecosystems and biodiversity lies at the center of the solution to enhancing coastal resilience. Yet despite a greater recognition and appreciation of the role played by coastal ecosystems as natural infrastructure, investments into ecosystem and biodiversity protection or restoration have been severely limited, write Ignace Beguin Billecocq, ocean lead for Climate Champions, and Tibor Vegh, senior policy associate in the Nicholas Institute's Ocean and Coastal Policy Program.

In a commentary for UNFCCC's Race to Resilience website, Beguin Billecocq and Vegh write that private corporations should complement efforts by the public sector and play a more pronounced ocean stewardship role. By investing in coastal ecosystems, companies can reduce costs, improve operations including employee retention, generate financial gains, or enhance their reputation.