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Climate emergency demands policy shift to adaptation: Global leaders on COP26

UNB, Dhaka
Climate emergency demands policy shift to adaptation: Global leaders on COP26
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Global leaders gathered in Rotterdam to participate in the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) high-level dialogue have said the climate emergency demands policy shift to adaptation

The dialogue titled “An Adaptation Acceleration Imperative for COP26” held in Rotterdam, Netherlands on Monday.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen represented Bangladesh in the dialogue.

With less than a hundred days to go until the world’s most significant summit on climate change, the dialogue established that the success of COP26 will be determined by whether, for the first time, climate adaptation is elevated to an equal priority with the mitigation of carbon emissions.

Patrick Verkooijen, the CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation, who convened the dialogue, said they are now living in the eye of the storm – ‘adapting the world to our climate emergency is essential for our safety even as we tackle a global pandemic’.

"From now on, we’re fighting a battle on two fronts: we have to fight to slash emissions while investing the same level of energy to adapt to a global climate emergency. Millions of lives and the safety of communities around the world are already at stake.”

Over 50 leaders from the international climate and development community attended the dialogue which concluded with a communique adopted in the presence of the dialogue’s co-conveners, chair of the Board, 8th Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation, Patrick Verkooijen, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva and UN High-Level Climate Champion on Private Sector for COP26, Feike Sijbesma.

The recent report from the IPCC warned a major worsening of climate impacts is coming a decade earlier than previously anticipated with unprecedented and irreversible changes.

It highlighted that certain impacts, such as extreme heat spells, would double in scale over the next decade, demanding unprecedented acceleration and investment in adaptation and resilience to counteract the growing climate emergency.

“We should be very clear that there is no issue with the Paris Agreement itself.

It has been exactly the framework we needed, if only it could be lived up to. What we need to do is rebuild confidence and trust to work together under the Paris regime," said Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the Global Center on Adaptation.

He said countries are ready for new ambition on adaptation, and they are ready for much scaled up financing for adaptation too. "For this, solutions already out there need to be shared and put into place.”

Ban Ki-moon noted that the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP), created by GCA in partnership with the African Development Bank and backed by the African Union, serves as a template for the ambition and approach that needs to be scaled across all regions of the world.

President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chair of the African Union, Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi said at the peak of the corona pandemic, there was a collective political will, by all countries, to address the crisis.

He also announced that, under the auspices of the African Union, he will chair a Leaders Event for friends of Africa’s adaptation during COP26.

The event, jointly organized by the African Union, GCA and the African Development Bank, will catalyse the acceleration of action, financing and partnership necessary to achieve a transformative shift in adaptation on the ground in Africa.

Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in opening the day’s proceedings noted yhat the time to move forward on adaptation is now. "In the run up to COP26, we need to translate our ambitions into firm action, planning, financing and implementation.”

During the closed-door Dialogue, the global leaders present confirmed the imperatives for COP26:

Ambition: adaptation ambition must be fully aligned with science and the realities of the climate emergency and must be constantly raised year on year in a pathway that COP26 can establish.

Finance: clear delivery on the UN-agreed annual $100 billion where financial flows for adaptation must be a on a par with financial flows for mitigation and the leveraging of pandemic recovery resources for maximum climate benefit including considering partial channelling of the $650 billion of newly allocated IMF Special Drawing Rights.

Partnerships: Forge the partnerships necessary to deliver and mainstream bold climate adaptation action over the next decade as countries continue to grapple with the growing climate emergency building on the examples of GCA, African Development Bank and African Union’s Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program.

Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, who chaired the meeting, spoke about how finance is integral to adaptation ambition:

Accelerating climate action in emerging markets and developing economies requires the international community to continue to deliver on the $100bn pledge made in Paris, and even more.

"As part of these efforts and following the IMF’s historic allocation of $650 billion of Special Drawing Rights [SDRs], including around $275 billion to low- and middle-income countries, we are discussing with our members the possibility of channelling some of these SDRS into creating a new Resilience and Sustainability Trust.

This Trust could help vulnerable countries undertake the necessary transformational reforms to address climate and other structural challenges," said Kristalina.

Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations said they need massively scaled-up investment in adaptation and resilience.

"This is absolutely critical for those at the frontlines of the climate crisis. Yet, only 21 per cent of climate finance is channelled to adaptation efforts."

Of the $70 billion that developing countries need now to adapt, only a fraction is being provided. Adaptation costs to the developing world could rise to as much as $300 billion dollars a year by 2030, Amina said.

Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group echoing her remarks said that the African Development Bank’s share of adaptation finance has increased from 49% in 2018 to 55% in 2019 and 63% in 2020.

"We are on track to mobilize the target of $25 billion between 2020 and 2025 to support investments that address climate change and promote green growth."

In closing remarks, Feike Sijbesma, UN High-Level Climate Champion on Private Sector for COP26, and Co-Chair of the GCA, said adaptation is everybody’s business.

"We must think about how we can integrate businesses better into our adaptation and resilience-building efforts; and at the same time encourage a constructive role for the private sector in supporting adaptation efforts by governments and non-government actors.”





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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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