On September 11th, as a leader of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) along with Bill Gates, the Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon called on global leaders and experts from both government and business sectors to take urgent action to innovate and advance climate adaptation solutions.
The commission launched its report on “Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience” in Beijing, China.
“Climate change doesn’t respect borders: it’s an international problem that can only be solved with co-operation and collaboration, across borders and worldwide,” – Ban Ki-moon
Ban also said,
“It is becoming increasingly clear that in many parts of the world, our climate has already changed, and we need to adapt with it. Mitigation and adaptation go hand-in-hand as two equally important building blocks of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Adaptation is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do to boost economic growth and create a climate resilient world.”
According to the Global Commission on Adaptation report, investing $1.8 trillion globally from 2020 to 2030 in five areas of climate adaptation could yield $7.1 trillion in net benefits. This would be the only means left to avert climate apartheid, where the rich escape the effects and the poor do not, but this investment is far smaller than the eventual cost of doing nothing.
“People everywhere are experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change. Those most impacted are the millions of smallholder farmers and their families in developing countries, who are struggling with poverty and hunger due to low crop yields caused by extreme changes in temperature and rainfall. With greater support for innovation, we can unlock new opportunities and spur change across the global ecosystem. Adaptation is an urgent issue that needs support from governments and businesses to ensure those most at risk have the opportunity to thrive,” said Gates.
Ban expressed his concern about “lack of vision of political leaders,” criticizing that “they are much more interested in getting elected and re-elected, and climate issues are not in their priorities.”
“It’s true that many governments have been paying more to invest in mitigation, trying to reduce greenhouse emissions. But it’s equally important that we do more, if not more, equally on adaptation. If we invest one dollar today on adaptation, particularly on infrastructure resilient to climate, we can expect at least four dollars return,” said Ban.
On the margins of the GCA launch event, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon had a bilateral meeting with Minister Li Ganjie of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China.
Minister Li said that China has implemented a national strategy to actively respond to climate change.
“As we try our best to carry out mitigation actions, we have constantly strengthened our adaptation ability, such as issuing national strategies and making them as long-term plan. Infrastructure construction and other projects like forestry, agriculture, marine areas will take climate change into account,” he said.
“Mitigation and adaptation go hand-in-hand as two equally important building blocks of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Adaptation is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do to boost economic growth and create a climate resilient world.”