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Source: Small Island Developing States

24 September 2019: Building on the momentum of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, more than 75 actors from government, multilateral development banks (MDBs), civil society and the private sector have agreed to support and deliver on initiatives spearheaded by the Global Commission on Adaptation’s (GCA) ‘Year of Action’ to accelerate and scale up climate change adaptation solutions.

The Commission’s recent report on adaptation and climate resilience found that investing USD 1.8 trillion in five sectors – early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure, improved dryland agriculture, mangrove protection and resilient water resources – could generate nearly USD 8 trillion, as well as a “triple dividend” of avoided future losses, positive economic gains through innovation, and additional social and environmental benefits.

The GCA aims to build on the report’s recommendations by pursuing ambitious targets under eight Action Tracks to create a comprehensive platform for “urgent, bold and equitable adaptation.” The tracks are: Finance and Investment; Food Security and Agriculture; Nature-based Solutions; Water; Cities; Locally-led Action; Infrastructure; and Preventing Disasters. The envisaged actions are also expected to contribute to raising the ambition of national climate plans in time for the Paris Agreement’s five-year milestone in 2020 when Parties are expected to submit their updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Specific adaptation initiatives announced at the Climate Action Summit include:

  • Commission partners supporting 300 million small-scale producers to adapt their farming systems, livelihoods and landscapes to be more climate resilient by 2030 through the CGIAR system;
  • The World Food Programme (WFP) and Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society expanding access to climate-informed digital advisory services for at least 100 million small-scale producers by 2030;
  • German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and partners expanding access for at least 100 million small-scale producers to insurance, markets, finance and productive safety nets, as well as agro-ecological practices;
  • A multi-stakeholder coalition of more than 30 partners reducing water-related risks for over 2.5 billion people through coordinated actions in more than 15 countries, 40 basins and 60 cities using existing and planned resources; and
  • UN-Habitat and Shack/Slumdwellers International supporting 150 million urban poor in 140 “hotspot” cities across 50 developing countries to adapt to climate change in informal settlements by 2023.

The GCA and its partners also launched three key initiatives to enhance the financing infrastructure for climate adaptation:

  • The Coalition for Climate-Resilient Investment (CCRI), a private sector-led group bringing together over 15 major companies, that seeks to transform how infrastructure investment decisions are made by developing a common approach to assess, integrate and price climate risks to incentivize resilient infrastructure investments;
  • A collaborative programme to help countries better integrate climate risks into their planning, budgetary and fiscal decision making that builds on the work of several international platforms, including the Coalition of Finance Ministers, the Vulnerable 20 Group of Ministers of Finance of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (V20) and the Africa Adaptation Initiative; and
  • A year-long working group to deepen research and practice on the economics of adaptation, creating decision-friendly tools to understand climate risks and plan policy-based or investment responses.

The Commission will report on progress made during the Year of Action at the October 2020 Climate Adaption Summit in the Netherlands.

The GCA was established in October 2018 and is composed of 34 Commissioners. It is led by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Kristalina Georgieva, incoming Managing Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Commission is co-managed by the Global Center on Adaptation and the World Resources Institute (WRI). [WRI Press Release] [Global Commission on Adaptation Website] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Call for Action On Adaptation and Resilience]

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