The World Economic Forum identified water crisis as one of the biggest global risks. Climate change is evident in water scarcity, sea level rise, extreme storms, floods, salinisation and pollution and is affecting more and more livelihoods. The situation may be complex, but adaptation, knowledge exchange and cooperation are key.
Even if emission reduction efforts succeed and the world meets the Paris Agreement goal of maintaining average temperature increases to below two degrees Celsius, the impacts of climate change will still be felt for decades to come. The world must adapt to this new reality. The urgency to adapt cannot be overestimated. No country in the world can do this alone.
Flooding and water scarcity could have a disastrous impact on a high-density, low lying country. This is why the Netherlands is always looking ahead, finding innovative ways to adapt to the new reality. This mindset, our international approach to peace and security, and our geographical location obliges us to spur dialogue and urge finding solutions for adaptation worldwide.
Water and conflict
There is still debate on the interlinkages between climate change and increasing migration flows. But what we do know is that severe water shortages and floods can set migration flows in motion, which could upset the balance of societies in the country or region of departure as well as those of the country or region of arrival. Competition over scarce water could lead to conflicts. Among the ways to enhance stability, forecasting vulnerable areas, delivering post disaster humanitarian aid and fostering dialogue and cooperation are pivotal. After all, it is not only physical circumstances that create imbalance, but human action too. And the latter gives us a perspective on action.
Global Centre of Adaptation
The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) advances bold actions that help societies across the world become more resilient to climate-related threats. GCA acts as a solutions broker, bringing together governments, the private sector, civil society, intergovernmental bodies, and knowledge institutions that can address the obstacles that slow down adaptation action. The Center builds on, improves, and accelerates breakthrough solutions that catalyse transformation at scale and at speed.
GCA was initiated by UN Environment and the Governments of the Netherlands, Japan and the Philippines and has established partnerships with global organisations, NGOs, governments, financial institutions, knowledge institutions and businesses to accelerate climate adaptation.