Summary Climate Adaptation Summit 2021


On January 25-26 the first (virtual) global Climate Adaptation Summit was hosted by the Netherlands. This high-level event dedicated to the role of Climate Adaptation in international climate politics also serves as a preparation of the #COP26 taking place in November in the United Kingdom and will from now on be held annually. The organization of such a summit on Climate Adaptation now happens for a good reason: With the COVID19-pandemic affecting the world for about one year now, almost all economies globally are taking severe damage and need to be rebuild. That provides a great opportunity to connect the rebuilding of economies with Climate Mitigation and Adaptation measures, so that they become more resilient against increasingly manifesting climate events and carbon neutral. The resilience of countries in face of undeniable climate change, especially of the most vulnerable countries, is of high importance to safeguard important progress in recent decades in fighting poverty.

To facilitate this process, more than 30world leaders, 50ministers, and 50international organizations gathered together with scientists, the private sector, civil society, youth representatives and over 18,500registered participants at the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021. During the 24 hours of CAS 2021, they formed the Adaptation Action Agenda that will serve as a guide for the coming years to accelerate adaptation action. It serves as basis for a “decade of action”:

Selected key statements:

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterrez set the stage by asking world leaders to respect climate adaptation in all budget allocations and investment decisions. He urged the world to channel 50% of all climate financing towards climate resiliency, as agreed in the Paris Agreement in 2015. This as an ambitious goal, as currently only 5% of climate financing go to adaptation.

However, the economic opportunity, climate adaptation poses for the post COVID19 world, are immense:

“Our research shows that combining steadily rising carbon prices with a green infrastructure push can boost global GDP over the next 15 years by about 0.7 percent and generate work for millions of people” said the Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva.

A vivid example of this is Costa Rica, which invested heavily in climate change adaptation, doubling the size of its forests and saw its economic power tripling at the same time, according to Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, the CEO and Chairperson of the GEF.

Local action is key and Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) are an important way to reach climate change adaptation. This became highlighted by the anchoring event on NBS organized by the governments of Canada and Mexico. Here the economic power of NBS was emphasized:

“Every Dollar invested in NBS can generate up to 10 USD worth of benefits.”

The World Resource Institute (WRI) stressed that NBS address both, the adaptation and mitigation of climate change, and are bringing communities together as well as create jobs. WRI President Dr. Andrew Steer made a clear statement: “At a time when the world is, we hope, recovering from the COVID-pandemic and we are trying to reboot our economies, the world is (according to WRI research) going spend 10-20 Trillion USD on economic stimulus and the best and fastest way to create jobs are Natur-Based Solutions.”

YAPU Solutions served as an example of an innovative financing model for Nature-Based Solutions addressing key barriers that hinder investment in NBS.

Christoph Jungfleisch, CEO of YAPU solutions, states:

“We work to make Nature-based adaptation operational. Our digital platform integrates climate and ecosystem data into a traditional credit evaluation. We thereby enable financial institutions to provide financing for much needed investment into adaptation by smallholder farmers and others.”

The summit also saw a number of concrete initiatives being launched:

Links & Resources:

A good overview on current NBS Initiatives:

Flagship Report on Climate Adaptation issued by the Global Coalition on Adaptation:

A collection of the many sessions and contributions in the context of the CAS2021:

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