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

Global Leaders Call to Accelerate Adaptation at the WEF 2019

On January 23rd during the World Economic Forum 2019 in Davos, Switzerland, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, CEO Kristalina Georgieva of the World Bank, and Co-chair Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the leaders of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), met with global leaders to discuss global solutions to respond to growing consequences of climate change that needs adaptation.

“Adaptation must move into the mainstream of policy-making, business strategies and development planning. Through these efforts, the world can advance dynamic solutions that will reduce risk and bring economic opportunities for more people. We are all in this together. We must mobilize leadership and unlock investments in adaptation that can improve people’s lives today and for generations to come,” Ban emphasized during the meeting.

Prior to the meeting, BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon and CEO Monika Froehler also met with CEO Patrick Verkooijen of the Global Center on Adaptation, Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency and UK Commissioner for GCA, and CEO Peter Damgaard Jensen of Pensionskassernes Administration A/S to discuss the importance of accelerating finance and investment in climate resilience.

Global Center on Adaptation CEO Verkooijen visits the Ban Ki-moon Centre in Vienna

CEO Patrick Verkooijen of Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) visited the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens on November 13th to have a bilateral meeting with the Centre’s Co-chair Ban Ki-moon. Co-chair Ban also serves as Chair of the Board with GCA.

On October 16th, 2018, GCA launched the Global Commission on Adaptation headed by BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon together with Co-chair Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and CEO Kristalina Georgieva of World Bank in The Hague, Netherlands.

To catalyze a global movement to bring scale and speed to climate adaptation solutions, the Global Commission on Adaptation included 17 convening countries and 28 commissioners that consist of the world leaders, representing all regions of the globe and all sectors of development.

Verkooijen and Ban discussed how to better accelerate adaptation action, bring larger support from the international community and promote cooperation among the states and the world leaders as GCA binds the ‘Sustainable Development Goal #13: Climate Action’ whereas all the other 17 SDGs are not legally bound.

University of Groningen awards Honorary Doctorate to Co-chair Ban Ki-moon

University of Groningen in Groningen, the Netherlands awarded Co-chair Ban Ki-moon with Honorary Doctorate to recognize his contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to the climate change.

“All our behaviors, all our business operations, all civil societies, life style should be geared to climate resilient and reducing greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible meeting the standard 1.5 degrees Celsius,” said Ban at the ceremony.

He emphasized the mission of the SDGs together with the Paris Climate Agreement:

“Let us work together, ladies and gentleman, to make sure that we live in a sustainable world where everybody will be healthier, everybody’s human rights, whatever the status may be, will be respected.”

Groningen is a city that hosted the opening ceremony of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and laboratory as well as the launch of the Global Commission on Adaptation that is led by Co-chair Ban. On the margins of the various events, Ban also met with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and His Excellency King Willem-Alexander and Her Excellency Queen Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti of the Netherlands.

Watch Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the degree ceremony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B4v1FppOHY

The First Partners’ Dialogue of the Global Commission on Adaptation

After delivering keynote address at the launch event and the opening ceremony of the Global Commission on Adaptation in the Hague, the Netherlands, Co-chair Ban Ki-moon led the Partners Dialogue with other commissioners and global leaders.

The Commission will oversee preparation of a flagship report and present its findings and recommendations at the 2019 UNSG Climate Summit. The report will be informed by input from the world’s leading scientific, economic and policy analysis institutes; 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.

There are four major roadblocks slowing adaptation that the Commission will work to address:

  1. 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;
  2. Governments and businesses fail to incorporate climate change risks into their social and economic development plans and investments;
  3. Adaptation efforts fall short of those who need them most, the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people; and
  4. 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.

Source: https://gca.org/global-commission-on-adaptation/commission-news/global-leaders-call-for-urgent-acceleration-of-climate-adaptation-solutions

Ban Ki-moon delivers keynote address at the launch of GCA

“Without urgent adaptation action, we risk undermining food, energy and water security for decades to come,” said BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon

who is a leader of the Global Commission on Adaption and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) at the launch and opening ceremony of the Global Commission on Adaptation in The Hague, the Netherlands on October 16th, 2018. The Global Commission on Adaptation is co-hosted by GCA and World Resources Institute. The Managing Partners coordinate and support the engagement activities of Commissioners, help to deliver research products, and support the overall functioning of the Commission’s work.

The Commission is headed by Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, Co-chair Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and CEO Kristalina Georgieva of World Bank, and consists of 17 convening countries and 28 Commissioners, including leaders representing all regions of the globe and all sectors of development and industry.

“Millions of lives are being lost, and poor people who did the least to cause the problems are suffering the most.” Ban pointed out that “Projects in water scarcity in Africa and the Middle East will cause growth rate to decline by as much as 6 per cent of GDP.”

Ban urged leaders of the world to work on making a complete transformation of “policies, programs, and projects across government, the private sector, and civil society” in order to adopt to climate and to ensure the well-being of humanity.

The Global Commission on Adaptation will provide a road map for what actions should be taken and how differently we should approach the development of the world. Ban says that the next two years will be critical for humanity and that greater climate resilience is reachable if we work together.

“We are at a point of no return!”

“The time to act is now, and we cannot do it alone!”

 

Watch the full speech of Ban Ki-moon and other global leaders at the launch event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paw1Jtew2P0
Co-chair Ban’s introductory video on the Global Commission on Adaptation can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px9Z83hycxI
Photo: GCA

BKMC Co-chair Ban Ki-moon, Bill Gates, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva to head the Global Commission on Adaptation

On September 10th, 2018, Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) announced the inauguration of the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s Co-chair Ban Ki-moon as Chair of the Global Commission on Adaptation, which will take place in The Hague, the Netherlands on October 16th, 2018. Three global leaders, Ban Ki-moon, Bill Gates, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva will head the commission which will be co-hosted by the GCA and World Resources Institute.

The GCA will gather experts and professionals from various different sectors to discuss solutions to the climate pressures increasing casualties and economic loss around the world, Ban said. “This Global Commission will play a vital role in elevating the political importance of adaptation, and also in making the case that greater resilience is achievable – and that is in all our interests.”

The commission planned to deliver a flagship report at a UN climate summit this month to make the climate change adaptation receive international and political attention it deserves. The commission addresses the need of more necessary funding for the climate adaptation that could help the world keep the pace with reaching global solutions for climate change. In a 2017 report, the Climate Policy Initiative said emissions-reduction activities accounted for an average of 93 percent of climate finance from 2015-2016. Looking only at public sources of funding, adaptation received just 16 percent.

The GCA brings together governments, the private sector, civil society, intergovernmental bodies, and relevant institutions that can address the obstacles slowing down adaptation action. The challenges the center stipulates are:

  • Scaling up ecosystem-based adaptation
  • Integrating climate adaptation into financial decision-making
  • Measuring effective adaptation
  • Creating climate resilient cities
  • Leveraging deltas to address climate change

CEO Patrick Verkooijen of the GCA said his organization would promote “much bolder, bigger approaches.” He emphasized on the importance of sharing expertise and knowledge in the field and having it implemented in correct methods that can be used in every place throughout the world. He mentioned that new technologies and funding options were also needed to meet challenges at the local level.

“That will happen when there is a push to put adaptation on the global agenda equal to other critical issues,” said Verkooijen.

The Global Commission on Adaptation, thus, should be able to include the perspectives of marginalized people living in vulnerable regions affected by natural disaster and to address their issues, including but not limited to lack of fund and expertise to the international community. The commission will roughly consist of 20 commissioners, including some world leaders, and 10 convening countries, which will be unveiled on October 16th, 2018.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-global-climatechange-adaptation/ban-ki-moon-gates-lend-muscle-to-help-world-weather-climate-change-idUSKCN1LT290

Source: https://gca.org/home