Note: This press release is issued by World Resources Institute, as Secretariat of the Adaptation Action Coalition.

GLASGOW (November 11, 2021)—Global action on adaptation is accelerating at COP26, with 40 countries now members of the state-led coalition that is working to achieve a more climate resilient world.

The latest boost to the Adaptation Action Coalition (AAC) came as the UN called for urgent efforts to increase adaptation finance and implementation in a new report and the UK COP26 Presidency highlighted the critical need for a step-change in adaptation action.

The diverse geographical range of the AAC has now expanded, with Vietnam and Mozambique becoming the newest members, following Nepal, who recently became a member of the Coalition’s Steering Committee.

Together the Coalition seeks to accelerate global action on adaptation, turning high-level commitments into targeted, tangible and practical action to achieve a climate resilient world by 2030. The AAC is bringing countries together to advance sector-specific workstreams, share adaptation solutions, and ensure adaptation remains high on national and global agendas.

Addressing ministerial representatives at the AAC’s first high-level COP event, on November 2, the UK Secretary of State for International Trade and Adaptation and Resilience Champion Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “We want to see the Coalition continue to grow and ensure that the urgency of closing the adaptation gap remains high on the global agenda.”

The UK is co-chair of the AAC along with Egypt. 

Dr. Yasmine Fouad, the Environment Minister of co-chair Egypt, said at the Nov. 2 AAC event: “Now is the time for action. We need resilient cities, resilient communities and local communities that are able to adapt and the only way to do that is to look at the vulnerable sectors within adaptation.”

The event, ‘Mobilizing Adaptation Action In Partnership’, was held at the COP26 Resilience Hub in Glasgow and was moderated by World Resources Institute President and CEO, Ani Dasgupta. Participants emphasized the need for urgent progress to make vulnerable communities safer, stronger and more equitable. 

The AAC has already made considerable progress advancing sector-specific workstreams for health, water and locally led adaptation. The AAC is also considering ideas for other workstreams, which could include areas such as disaster risk reduction, agriculture and others.

Nations, including Indonesia, Malawi, Egypt, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, Guinea and the UK, have been working together on national planning for water resilience alongside the Global Water Partnership and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation.

A health workstream, led by the World Health Organisation and championed by AAC members Fiji and Spain, is developing health vulnerability and adaptation assessments and national health adaptation plans.

The Coalition is also advancing locally led adaptation, aiming to bring about a new paradigm where communities and local actors have greater power and resources to build climate resilience. WRI and IIED are leading this workstream, working with the over 70 governments and organizations who have endorsed the Principles for Locally Led Adaptation, including many new endorsements announced at COP26.

At the COP event, ministers also issued an open invitation for more countries to join the AAC, calling for nations to continue to raise their ambition ahead of the African Presidency of COP27.

Although not a funding body, the AAC encourages a collaborative approach to support initiatives and catalyse practical action. The AAC’s actions are underpinned by a strong evidence base of the most effective solutions, through collaboration with the newly formed Adaptation Research Alliance. The AAC also works closely in collaboration with partners, including the Race to Resilience, led by the UN High Level Climate Champions.

The AAC was founded by the UK in partnership with Egypt, Bangladesh, Malawi, the Netherlands, Saint Lucia and the United Nations. The founding members, plus Colombia, Fiji, Ghana, Japan, Nepal and the USA make up the Steering Committee. It is open to all UN member states, as well as the European Union. The Adaptation Action Coalition will build upon the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit ‘Call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience’ and take into account the 2021 Climate Adaptation Summit Action Agenda.

Speakers from AAC member countries and partners shared important perspectives at the November 2 Adaptation Action Coalition COP event:

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies president Francesco Rocca said there had already been more than 400 extreme weather events affecting the lives of 140 million people since the pandemic began. “Adaptation is a key part of the localization agenda: empowering local actors means empowering local communities to adapt to the humanitarian consequences of the climate crisis,” he added.

Malawi’s Deputy Director for Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources, Ms. Shamiso Najira, said: “As a least developed country, Malawi is facing the magnitude of climate change because its environment and ecosystems have already been highly degraded and investing in these would render its communities more resilient.” The country is ready to start scaling up the interventions it has piloted, but will also require technological solutions and innovative approaches, she added.

Japan’s Vice Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, Shoda Yutaka, said that Japan is focusing on capacity building for policymakers around the world through relevant activities of the Asia-Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Information Platform (AP-PLAT), and it would be pursuing with the AAC.

Alexandria Villaseñor, a 16-year-old US climate activist, said: “Every aspect of my life and my generation will be affected by climate change, so it’s time that nations start preparing for that.”

United Nations Development Programme Administrator Achim Steiner said: “Climate change finance has been far behind where the actual need is, so we need to crack this. We need to approach this from the perspective of having to invest in adaptation to cope with what has now become a climate reality.”

About the Adaptation Action Coalition
The Adaptation Action Coalition (AAC) aims to accelerate adaptation globally. This state-led initiative of 40 member countries and counting is driving adaptation action to achieve a climate resilient world by 2030. Together, AAC members will foster even greater political ambition on adaptation, turning high-level commitments into targeted, tangible and practical action. The AAC is advancing sector-specific workstreams, which will ultimately help people, economies and the planet become more resilient and equitable. World Resources Institute is the Secretariat of the Adaptation Action Coalition.