A new Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) to “catalyse a new global movement to bring scale and speed to climate adaptation solutions” was launched Tuesday (October 16). The initiative is being spearheaded by former United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank.
The GCA, which was launched in The Hague at a ceremony including Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands (the initiating convening country), introduces 17 convening countries from global north and south, and 28 global commissioners, including heads of state and leaders of industry. It is being managed by the Global Center on Adaptation and the World Resources Institute.
The convening countries are: Argentina, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ethiopia, Germany, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Marshall Islands, Mexico, the Netherlands, Senegal, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
“Without urgent adaptation action, we risk undermining food, energy and water security for decades to come. Continued economic growth and reductions in global poverty are possible despite these daunting challenges – but only if societies invest much more in adaptation. The costs of adapting are less than the cost of doing business as usual. And the benefits many times larger,” said Ban Ki-moon.
The GCA will work to address four major roadblocks slowing adaptation to climate change solutions: 1) lack of awareness as to all the opportunities to be gained from becoming more resilient and less vulnerable to climate impacts and natural hazards on behalf of decision makers and the wider public, 2) the failure by governments and businesses to incorporate climate change risks into their social and economic development plans and investments, 3) the shortcomings of adaptation efforts to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, and 4) the scarcity of global leadership to meet the transformations required to adapt to climate change.
The Commission will oversee preparation of a flagship report in its first year and present the findings and recommendations at the 2019 UNSG Climate Summit. The Commission will also convene coalitions, private sector and civil society actors advance activities aligned to action tracks including food security, rural livelihoods, global supply chains, cities, infrastructure, finance, social protection and nature-based solutions.
“The new Global Adaptation Commission is a very important initiative which can be a significant driver in supporting the financial sector’s efforts to reduce the profound risks to society from the physical impacts of climate change,” commented DWS CEO Nicolas Moreau. “The investment management industry is already very active in many efforts to reduce emissions and must start addressing physical impacts, whether through new types of investment funds or via their influence as shareholders, and we look forward to working closely with the commission to help meet its vital goals.
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