The Global Commission on Adaptation, led by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Bill Gates and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva, seeks to elevate the visibility and political importance of climate adaptation.
Its Young Leaders Programme will provide an opportunity for students to engage with and contribute knowledge to the Commission’s work.
The Commission will advance a Year of Action to help transform the way decision makers and citizens think about and act on adaptation action and support to reach the most vulnerable.
17 October 2018: Global leaders have launched a commission to bring scale and speed to climate adaptation solutions, and address obstacles that are slowing adaptation and the transformation required to adapt to climate change. The Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) seeks to elevate the visibility and political importance of climate adaptation, and encourage solutions such as smarter investments, new technologies and better planning to become more resilient to climate-related threats.
The GCA is led by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva. Ban serves as chair of the GCA Board.
The GCA aims to: raise awareness of decision makers and the public about the opportunities of increased resilience to climate impacts and natural hazards; ensure that governments and businesses incorporate climate change risks into their social and economic development plans and investments; ensure that adaptation efforts help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable; and raise the level of global leadership on the issue.
Adapting to climate change will require a complete transformation of policies, programmes and projects across governments, the private sector and civil society.
On 10 September, the GCA opened an office in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and on 17 October, a second office in Groningen, Netherlands. At the opening of the Groningen office, Ban said that adapting to climate change “will require a complete transformation of policies, programmes and projects across governments, the private sector and civil society.” He noted that without urgent adaptation, action, food, energy and water security will be threatened for decades, and that economic growth and poverty reduction are only possible if more is invested in adaptation. GCA CEO Patrick Verkooijen announced a Young Leaders Programme, through which students can engage with and contribute knowledge to the work of the Groningen center.
In its first year, the Commission intends to prepare a report explaining why adapting to climate risks and accelerated action is essential, describing new actions that should be taken and what must be done differently, and calling on governments, companies and citizens to act urgently. The GCA will present its findings and recommendations at the UN Climate Summit in September 2019. The Commission also will convene champions, coalitions, the private sector and civil society representatives to advance activities related to food security and rural livelihoods, global supply chains, cities, infrastructure, finance, social protection and nature-based solutions.
The GCA is led by countries and organizations that have been leaders in adaptation, including China, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Netherlands, Philippines, UK, the UNFCCC, the World Resources Institute (WRI), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and Slum/Shack Dwellers International. [Press Release on Establishment of GCA] [Press Release on Opening of GCA Office] [GCA Website]