China Embraces the Urgent Need for Climate Adaptation by Joining Forces with the Netherlands to Launch a Global Center on Adaptation Office in Beijing

On June 27th, China and the Netherlands announced a new initiative to accelerate action to make China and the region more resilient to the reality of the climate crisis on its fragile ecological environment. China is experiencing more frequent and higher intensity extreme weather events. Floods, heat waves, droughts and dust storms, which were once rare, now happen on a regular basis causing great harm to health and society.

In recognition of these challenges, the Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang, has accepted an invitation from Mark Rutte, Prime Minister Mark of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, to work together to accelerate action against the impacts of climate change being felt across the country.

Both governments, also as conveners to the Global Commission on Adaptation, recognize that this is not an alternative to a redoubled effort to stop climate change through mitigation but an essential complement to it.

With the launch of the first regional office of the Global Center on Adaptation in China, the two countries have agreed to work closely together to accelerate action on adaptation to support greater resilience and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The regional office will support scaled-up and transformative adaptation initiatives across Asia and is the first of a planned global network of GCA offices and representatives positioned around the world to facilitate knowledge sharing and action across different territories.

On the occasion of the launch of the Global Center on Adaptation office in Beijing, Premier Li Keqiang said:

“We are happy to see the opening of the China office of the Global Center on Adaptation and we believe it will give a strong boost to cooperation between China and the Global Commission on Adaptation and will also help China, as the largest developing country in the world, together with other countries in the global community in meeting the climate challenge. On behalf of the Chinese government, I would like to extend congratulations on the launch of the China office and let me also express our heartfelt appreciation for the support from Prime Minister Rutte andBan Ki-moon for China’s efforts in meeting the climate challenge. The Chinese government takes the issue of climate change very seriously. Climate change is a global challenge which requires global co-operation. It is important for us to enhance capacity in both mitigation and adaptation. China will also continue to provide help to other developing countries, especially small islands states, in enhancing capacity in coping with climate change under the framework of South-South cooperation. The Chinese are serious about commitments made and China will continue to keep its word made to the international community and contribute our own share in global response to climate change.”

Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the NetherlandsMark Rutte, said:

“Much of the Netherlands lies below sea-level. For us it has always been self-evident that mitigation and adaptation must go hand in hand. But with more people around the world living with the impacts of climate change every day, practical solutions must be put in place to help those who are suffering the most. The Netherlands stands ready to share our experience in Chinaand other parts of the world on how climate-informed choices can help ensure the benefits from these investments, as well as avoid billions of dollars in losses from future extreme storms, droughts, and other climate impacts.”

8th Secretary General of the United National and Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation, Ban Ki-moon said:

“The world is not on the path to meet the climate targets of the Paris Agreement. The international community can no longer afford to leave climate change as an afterthought; it is already a daily reality for many people the world over. I am calling on other countries and leaders to follow China’s example in facing up to this stark reality. We must start preparing for large changes even while fighting to avoid them. There are actions that must be taken in all parts of the world, but we must start to build that resilient future now.” 

Minister of Infrastructure and Water, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen said from the Netherlands:

“Adaptation will lead to better growth and development. Beyond preventing loss, it will drive innovation and create opportunities. Adaptation is not a separate agenda – effective adaptation is about integrating climate risk into what political and economic decision-makers do at every level, such as budgeting, investment design, and program implementation. The Netherlands has a long experience in how to build a resilient future.”

Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation said:

“The impacts of the climate emergency could push more than 100 million into poverty by 2030, and hundreds of millions of people could face major food shortages worldwide. I am delighted that China will host the first regional office for the Global Center on Adaptation. They have recognised that while mitigation alone is not enough, the costs of adaptation are less than the costs of doing business as usual. There are many bright spots where adaptation efforts have begun – but more urgency, innovation and scale is needed to avoid climatic impacts that are getting more severe with each passing year.”

 

Source: The Global Center on Adaptation

Ban Ki-moon Centre signs a Tripartite MOU with Yeosijae and Tsinghua University

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens signed a tripartite MOU with Yeosijae (Future Consensus Institute) and Tsinghua University at Tsinghua University on the margins of the 2018 Future Consensus Forum in BeijingChina on November 5th, 2018.

The three institutes agreed to collaborate on research projects and academic exchanges related to future city and sustainable development, acknowledging areas of common interest in promoting research, crossing sectors and disciplines, and advancing solutions to global challenges.

After the MOU signing ceremony, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a special lecture on the SDGs to the Tsinghua University students.

Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens at the 2018 Future Consensus Forum

“2018 Future Consensus Forum: Next Civilized City and Sustainable Development” was co-organized by BKMC partners Yeosijae (Future Consensus Institute)Tsinghua University, and Institute for Global Engagement and Empowerment (IGEE) in Beijing, China on November 3-5th, 2018.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered a keynote at the opening session of the forum, highlighting the importance of sustainable cities both as the greatest inter-connected challenge and the key enabler of the SDGs. It was received with strong endorsement by the audience which included parliamentarians, mayors and academicians from across the world. Ban also addressed the issues and solutions during media interviews.

A special discussion hosted by the Centre was moderated by Ambassador Kim Won-soo, who is former UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs and a Board Member of the Centre. Featured speakers of the discussion included:

  • Jean Todt: President of FIA; BKMC Board Member
  • Irina Bokova: former Director General of UNESCO; BKMC Board Member
  • Wu Hongbo: Co-director of the Institute for Sustainable Development Goals of Tsinghua University (TUSDG); former United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs
  • Liu Song: Vice President of Alibaba Group

Professor Myongsei Sohn of Yonsei University, who serves as Executive Director of IGEE, also participated in a panel discussion during the second plenary session focusing on the digital era and the next civilized city. The audience actively engaged in the discussions on topics including transportation in smart cities and the reinforcement of road safety, the importance of education in the field of sustainable city planning, policy decision and solidarity, and the role of technology needed for sustainable city.

The Future Consensus Forum aims to
– seek for ways to make the development of future cities sustainable by analyzing the issues modern cities face;
– share the importance of developing a city centered around small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and venture businesses using creativity;
– share the images of a newly civilized city that will realize sustainable society led by digital advancement.

Watch live-streamed video of the forum this year: https://zhibo.ifeng.com/video.html?liveid=122854&fbclid=IwAR0Hx99TMWhomj6Dkd3Z0nmJyVzHiDBMZoO-3gE56BfYayRkc6hPLGOvstU
Videos of the previous forums can be found on the YouTube channel of Yeosijae: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCr8DHn5gQVeJvlOkaaFWnDg

Photo: Yeosijae