Climate change adaptation to escape the poverty trap: role of the private sector

Shixiong Cao, Heran Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


Climate change adaptation and poverty alleviation call for an integrated strategy, because poverty exacerbates the vulnerability to climate change and vice versa. The private sector, which has traditionally been excluded from adaptation planning, may contribute greatly to the development of an integrated strategy. Here, we identify the differences in adaptation trajectories between the private sector and communities by proposing a conceptual framework and report on a case study in a dryland area of China, where the private sector led a successful adaptation and poverty alleviation project. We found that their win–win strategy achieved both climate change adaptation and development, thereby helping a disadvantaged community to escape the poverty trap and achieve sustainable development. The private sector played a dominant role in the response, as this sector can adapt in ways that are not possible for governments or communities. We suggest that participatory governance that includes private-sector stakeholders is more likely to achieve sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEcosystem Health and Sustainability
Issue number10
Early online date31 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


  • adaptation
  • climate change; framework
  • poverty alleviation
  • private sector

Cite this