More than 30 world leaders expressed their firm support for climate adaptation action at the international online Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS) 2021, hosted by the Netherlands. During the high-level opening, various concrete initiatives and enhanced ambitions from governments, development banks, institutions and cities were launched to drastically enhance climate adaptation worldwide during the coming decade. To turn ambitions into reality, speakers committed to significantly raising adaptation finance.
The new US Climate Envoy, John Kerry, assured world leaders in his first public appearance on the international stage that the Biden-administration has made international climate action a top priority and will help promote more ambition in adaptation and resilience.
“We are proud to be back”, Kerry said. “We come back with humility for the absence of the last four years and we’ll do everything in our power to make up for it.” He announced the US will focus on better climate data, more funding for adaptation and resilience, improving adaptation programmes and promoting cooperation between the private sector and affected communities. “Only together, we will be able to build resilience to climate change.”
Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng called on the international community to redouble their national adaptation efforts and to implement the adaptation commitments made in the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“Support for adaptation and resilience is a moral, economic and social imperative. Adaptation cannot be the neglected half of the climate equation. That is why I have called for 50 per cent of the total share of climate finance provided by all donors and multilateral development banks to be allocated to adaptation and resilience”, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a live statement.
In an important move, IMF Managing Director Georgieva announced the IMF is increasing coverage of climate actions in its annual country economic assessments – the Article IV consultations - and will incorporate climate risks in its financial sector assessments. The IMF will also scale up capacity development to support member countries with climate-related skills and announced the launching of a new data initiative to help countries track climate change risks and policies.
“The IMF is ramping up support for the policies, investment plans and skills countries need to strengthen their response to climate change. Reducing emissions and building resilience is a four times win – good for growth and jobs, for health and for our planet”, Georgieva said. “For us, it is mission critical. We need all hands on deck.”
The World Bank Group committed to maintaining the share of its total climate finance that is earmarked for climate adaptation to at least 50%. World Bank Group president Malpass also announced a $5 billion investment in the Great Green Wall, an initiative to combat the increasing desertification in Africa.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) announced a new Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP). This flagship program will focus on agriculture, infrastructure, youth and innovative finance. The African Development Bank has committed to mobilize $25 billion as climate finance between 2020 and 2025, of which at least 50% will support climate adaptation and resilience building. AfdB and GCA will use this to leverage an additional $12.5 billion through other key partners. “Let’s turn words into action”, AfDB president Adesina said.
French President Macron reaffirmed that 2 billion euros – one third of France’s climate finance aid – will be allocated for climate adaptation. German Chancellor Merkel committed a total of 270 million euros extra budget for climate adaptation, in support of vulnerable communities. “We are doing our part”, Merkel said.
Netherlands Prime Minister Rutte reiterated that all Dutch public finance continues to be equally focussed – 50/50 – on mitigation and adaptation. “The Kingdom of the Netherlands is made up of a low-lying delta by the North Sea and several small islands in the Caribbean. So we know that accelerating climate adaptation action around the globe is essential. That’s why the Netherlands is ensuring that its climate finance is equally balanced between mitigation and adaptation. And I hope that more and more countries will raise their climate financing for adaptation to match their financing for mitigation”, Rutte said.
The Netherlands is also contributing an additional 20 million euros to the Least Developed Countries Fund to adapt to climate change, and 100 million euros for the Drylands Sahel program for sustainable agriculture and better incomes for farmers and livestock farmers, with special attention for young people and women.
British Prime Minister Johnson launched the Adaptation Action Coalition, a group of leading nations that will be working with the Race2Relience initiative and the UN Climate Action team towards COP26 later this year. In partnership with Egypt, Bangladesh, Malawi, the Netherlands, Saint Lucia and the UNDP, the Coalition will aim to accelerate efforts to turn political commitment into tangible action on the ground to support those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. “Let 2021 be the year that we fight back not just against climate change, but the effects of climate change that are already being felt”, said Mr Johnson in his statement at CAS 2021.
Cities are key to accelerating adaptation action globally – by 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. On behalf of global cities and leading cities networks, the 1,000 Cities Adapt Now Program (1000CAN) was announced by Mayor Aboutaleb of the City of Rotterdam during the opening of the CAS. This program will be helping 1000 cities adapt to climate change over the next ten years. The 1000CAN program is a joint effort of the Resilient Cities Network, UN Habitat, Resilient Cities Network, Deltares, Slum Dwellers International and CURE.
Dutch Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management, hosting the CAS together with Prime Minister Rutte said: “I’m thrilled that our mission to accelerate climate adaptation around the world is succeeding. It’s incredible how much energy has come together at this Summit. World leaders are announcing concrete and ambitious plans. Promising multi stakeholder initiatives are born. Knowledge and best practices are shared. A great boost to climate adaption.”
Youth and Science Call to Action
The call to action from youth leaders in more than 115 countries and the call to action from more than 3,000 scientists, both first published on January 22nd, were presented to the world leaders during the opening session.
More to come: Adaptation Action Agenda
During the two days of the CAS, partners worldwide will share more initiatives, programs and best practices. Their contributions will add up to the Adaptation Action Agenda. Launched at the summit, this broad agenda will provide a framework for accelerating climate adaptation action in the coming make-or-break decade – promoting, guiding, exchanging and monitoring climate resilience building together. This transformative decade will generate more action, integration, partnership, innovation, finance and equity.
Climate Adaptation Summit
Hosted by the Netherlands, the international Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 (CAS 2021) takes place on 25 and 26 January 2021. This online climate summit is aimed at finding solutions to adapt to the effects of climate change, such as extreme downpours, drought, heat and rising sea levels. World leaders such as Angela Merkel, Ban Ki-moon, John Kerry and UN Secretary General Guterres participate in this summit. A broad Adaptation Action Agenda will be launched with practical climate solutions - and plans up to 2030.
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