Ban, Gates, other global leaders urge acceleration of climate adaptation
On the heels of one of the deadliest climate-related weather disasters affecting countries all over the world, an unprecedented gathering of global leaders yesterday launched the new global commission on adaptation to catalyse a global movement to bring scale and speed to climate adaptation solutions.
The Global Commission on Adaptation is led by Ban Ki-moon, the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), World Bank. It includes 17 convening countries and 28 commissioners, including the leaders, representing all regions of the globe and all sectors of development and industry.
As indicated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C, damaging climate change impacts are being felt now, much sooner and more powerfully than previously projected. Adaptation is about managing the risks associated with climate change – from floods and droughts to sea level rise and storms.
The work of the Commission will elevate the visibility and political importance of climate adaptation and encourage bold solutions like smarter investments, new technologies and better planning to become more resilient to climate-related threats.
According to the group, there are four major roadblocks slowing adaptation that the commission will work to address:
• Decision makers and the wider public are not yet aware of all the opportunities to be gained from becoming more resilient and less vulnerable to climate impacts and natural hazards; among others.
• Governments and businesses fail to incorporate climate change risks into their social and economic development plans and investments;
• Adaptation efforts fall short of those who need them most, the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people; and
• Although adaptation is a global challenge, global leadership on the issue is scarce. In short, the world is falling short of the transformation required to adapt to a changing climate.
In its first year, the Commission will oversee preparation of a flagship report and present its findings and recommendations at the 2019 UN Secretary-General’s (UNSG) climate summit. The report will be informed by input from the world’s leading scientific, economic and policy analysis institutes; and will set out why adapting to climate risks and accelerated action is essential, what new actions are needed and what must be done differently; and how governments, companies and citizens can start working today to make the world a safer, better place.
The commission also will convene key champions, coalitions, private sector and civil society actors to advance activities aligned to several action tracks, including food security and rural livelihoods, global supply chains, cities, infrastructure, finance, social protection and nature-based solutions.