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

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