‘Our climate has already changed. Dramatic weather events and volatile seasons are the new normal. Millions of people in poor countries are already living with the effects of climate change’, said Kristalina Georgieva, CEO at the World Bank, on the launch of the Global Commission on Adaptation, in the Hague, the Netherlands, 16 October.

Next to Kristalina Georgieva, the former United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon (chair) and Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates are part of the commission.

dws-gac-launch-georgieva-350pxCEO Kristalina Georgieva at the World Bank mentioned that those affected most, are least able to prepared for more extreme weather events.

Accelerate adaptation
The commission heads the Global Centre on Adaptation that has a mission to catalyse a global movement to bring scale and speed to climate adaptation solutions.

It includes 17 convening countries and 28 commissioners, including the leaders, representing all regions of the globe and all sectors of development and industry.

‘It is a cruel irony that those who have least contributed to climate change are the ones who are affected and least able to prepare’, continued Kristalina Georgieva. ‘We face a choice: business as usual and hope for the best. Or we act now and build for a resilient future.’

dws-gac-launch-ban-ki-moon-350pxChair Ban Ki-moon urged society to invest more in climate adaptation.

Adaptation is less costly
At the inauguration of the commission Ban Ki-moon warned again for the high costs of continuing business as usual. ‘Without urgent adaptation action, we risk undermining food, energy and water security for decades to come.’, he said.

Ban Ki-Moon: ‘Continued economic growth and reductions in global poverty are possible despite these daunting challenges - but only if societies invest much more in adaptation. The costs of adapting are less than the cost of doing business as usual. And the benefits many times larger’.

Co-chair Bill Gates contributed to the ceremony with a video message. ‘We are at a moment of high risk and great promise. We need policies to help vulnerable populations adapt and we need to ensure that governments and other stakeholders are supporting innovation and helping deliver those breakthroughs to the people and places that need them most.’

Bill Gates: ‘If everyone does their part, we can reduce carbon emissions, increase access to affordable energy, and help farmers everywhere grow more productive crops.’

dws-gac-launch-gates-350pxCo-chair Bill Gates highlighted the opportunities for the global society to act and deliver breakthroughs in his video message.

Flagship report
In its first year, 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; and will 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.

Countries at the forefront of adaptation have taken the lead in creating the Global Commission on Adaptation. The leaders of these countries are committed to working together to advance the work of the Commission. These countries include: Argentina, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ethiopia, Germany, Grenada, India, Indonesia, Marshall Islands, Mexico, the Netherlands, Senegal, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

This news item is based on the original publication on the website of GCA.

(photos: Twitter)

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More information
Global Center on Adaptation
Rotterdam/Groningen, the Netherlands

Full video recording of the launch ceremony of the commission on 16 October in The Hague.