Global Center on Adaptation off to a dynamic start

On 17 October 2018, former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon opened the Groningen office of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA). Its sister office in Rotterdam had been opened a month earlier, on 20 September.

Global Center on Adaptation

The GCA is a global top expertise centre that supports nations, organisations, and businesses with knowledge and advice in the field of climate adaptation. This support enables them to better prepare for the impact of climate change in the near future.

The GCA amasses a comprehensive network of international partners, among whom leading research institutes, businesses, NGOs, local and national governments, international organisations, and the financial sector.

Global Commission on Adaptation

A day before the opening of the GCA office in Groningen, a high-level event was held in The Hague, attended by Prime Minister Mark Rutte: the launch of the Global Commission on Adaptation. This Commission, supported by the GCA and the World Resources Institute, is chaired by Mr Ban Ki-Moon, Mr Bill Gates (CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), and Ms Kristalina Georgieva (CEO of the World Bank).

The Commission is composed of 28 members from 19 different countries. Several of them represent national governments, among whom Ms Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management. International organisations such as the Global Environment Facility and businesses such as the Dutch DSM company are also represented on the Commission. The Commission aims to put climate adaptation higher on the national and international agendas of governments, institutions, businesses, and residents alike.

At the same time, the Commission aims to help disseminate knowledge of adaptation strategies, among which climate-smart investments, new technologies, and more efficient climate planning.

Year of Action

The Commission has taken on a number of specific tasks. For example, it is preparing a major report, to be presented during the UN Climate Summit in 2019. This report will amass the most recent knowledge relating to climate adaptation, with the assistance of authoritative international institutions in this field. It will deal with such issues as the importance of climate adaptation, promising strategies, points for improvement, and concrete action items for governments, businesses, and residents.

Furthermore, the Commission will be collaborating closely with the European Commission in the field of climate adaptation and will take the lead in an international Year of Action (from the end of 2019 until the end of 2020). This initiative is intended to encourage policy-makers and residents to adopt a different view of climate action and act accordingly – and to ensure that support also reaches the most vulnerable groups.