Private Sector Involvement in Climate Adaptation: Studying the Role and Level of Engagement of the Private Sector in Public-Private Partnerships for Food Security in the Global South and its Justice Implications
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Climate change poses an increasing risk to human and natural systems, and climate action is necessary to reduce these risks. The mobilisation of private sector investment and adaptation is needed but remains difficult. A strategy to encourage private sector engagement is through public-private partnerships. However, public-private partnerships are not always effective, and private sector engagement is sometimes still low in public-private partnerships. Furthermore, the desired higher private sector involvement could raise questions about the inclusiveness of vulnerable groups in these public-private partnerships. This research aims to investigate the role and level of engagement of the private sector, and its linked justice implications in public-private partnerships focused on food security adaptation in the global South. Stimulating and restrictive factors for the private sector to join the partnerships are additionally identified and used to explain the private sector involvement and justice implications. To do so, this research has conducted a case study analysis with four public-private partnerships concerned with agricultural adaptation in the global South. This research has conducted 15 interviews with case study actors, 4 expert interviews and a document analysis. An analytical framework has been applied to the case studies. This thesis shows that the private sector often plays a key role within the public-private partnerships and are responsible for the actual delivery of the program or project. Therefore, using public-private partnerships is an effective way to stimulate the private sector to help contribute to agricultural climate adaptation. Nonetheless, overall, the justice implications in the adaptation projects are mediocre, meaning that not all groups are included in the transition to a more climate-resilient future. No clear influence from the private sector involvement on the justice implications was found in this study. Nevertheless, the presence of an NGO and a smaller scale of a public-private partnership have been identified as a positive influence on the justice implications. These generated insights helped create a better understanding of the conditions that are necessary for reaching the vulnerable smallholders to increase their livelihoods. A one-size-fits-all approach is not effective for increasing the participation of the private sector, and also not for increasing the justice implications. A tailor-made approach to the specific context is needed to create a more effective and just transformation to a more climate-resilient future, which is needed to reduce the risks of climate change.
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