The Global Commission on Adaptation emphasizes that climate adaptation investments deliver higher returns, laments the fact that most recovery plans have thus far not sufficiently incorporated climate resilience, and calls on governments and donors to direct recovery aid to the world’s most vulnerable.
The Call to Action urges accelerated progress in the following seven areas: locally led adaptation; urban resilience; water resources management; shock-responsive social safety nets; food security; nature-based solutions; and disaster prevention.
The Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) has released a call to action to bring about a climate-resilient recovery from the COVID-19 global pandemic, which urges governments to leverage COVID-19-related stimulus packages to invest in climate resilience.
The Commission recommends that governments and organizations integrate climate resilience into all decisions and invest in innovative solutions to address both the pandemic and the climate crisis. The Commission emphasizes that adaptation investments deliver higher returns while preempting the destructive impact of future shocks. The Call to Action laments that most countries have not incorporated climate resilience into the USD 10 trillion of public funds thus far invested in pandemic crisis relief, and warns that resulting debt may restrict governments’ ability to address future climate resilience needs. The Commission also warns that the pandemic has the potential to drive 100 million more people into extreme poverty by the end of 2020, and calls on governments and donors to direct recovery aid to the world’s most vulnerable.
The Commission calls on world leaders to respond to the pandemic by accelerating progress in seven areas, and articulates opportunities to do so, which, it states, “align with and support internationally agreed frameworks” such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), “while prioritizing an equitable and resilient recovery.” The seven areas are: locally led adaptation; urban resilience; water resources management; shock-responsive social safety nets; food security; nature-based solutions; and disaster prevention.
In addition to former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation co-founder Bill Gates, who co-chair the Global Commission, some of the notable signatories include UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen, Global Environment Facility (GEF) CEO and Chairperson Naoko Ishii, and World Resources Institute (WRI) President and CEO Andrew Steer.
The GCA was launched in 2018 with the mandate to encourage the development of measures to manage the effects of climate change through technology, planning, and investment. The GCA 17 convening countries and 28 commissioners represent all sectors of the globe and all sectors of development and industry. The Commission will report on progress towards advancing action in the seven areas at the January 2021 Climate Adaptation Summit in the Netherlands, and will carry its recommendations forward at COP 26 in Glasgow, UK. [Call to Action for a Climate-Resilient Recovery from COVID-19] [UNFCCC Press Release] [Global Commission on Adaptation Website]