DAVOS, SWITZERLAND (January 23, 2019) – Ban Ki-moon, the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank, and Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, met with global leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos today to discuss practical solutions to respond to the growing consequences of climate change. Even if the goal of keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius is achieved, climate-related disasters are already happening and will increase, which makes the case for adaptation increasingly urgent.

The international community must step up action ahead of the UN Climate Summit in September, for which the UK is leading efforts to advance climate resilience. This will be followed by a Year of Action culminating in the Global Adaptation Action Summit in October 2020, convened by the Netherlands. The Year of Action will advance the recommendations from the flagship report presented at the UN Climate Summit and catalyze and guide several high-impact action tracks on urgent issue areas, including food security, infrastructure, finance, urban resilience, and nature-based solutions, with tangible and actionable targets.

According to this year’s Global Risk Report, “extreme weather events” and “failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation” were ranked as the top two risks, based on a survey of 1,000 leaders in the public sector, private sector, academia and civil society.

Ban Ki-moon, Chair of the Global Commission on Adaptation, said:

“Facing mounting climate impacts, we must accelerate adaptation efforts worldwide to reduce risks and expand economic opportunities for all people. Tragically, and too often, the poor are the most affected by the impacts of our changing climate. Today’s discussions with the Commissioners and other global leaders focused on advancing innovative solutions in agriculture and food security and scaling up finance for adaptation.

“Around the world, we are seeing bright spots— action is being taken to ensure that infrastructure can withstand extreme heat, agriculture can remain productive despite prolonged droughts, and homes are protected from coastal storms. Yet adaptation needs to be achieved at a far greater speed and scale than we are seeing today.

“Adaptation must move into the mainstream of policymaking, business strategies and development planning. Through these efforts, the world can advance dynamic solutions that will reduce risk and bring economic opportunities for more people. We are all in this together. We must mobilize leadership and unlock investments in adaptation that can improve people’s lives today and for generations to come.”