Damaging climate impacts are here and getting worse every year. They are hitting the poorest and most vulnerable hardest. We can continue to reduce global poverty and drive economic growth despite climate change’s formidable challenges, but societies must move faster and invest more in climate adaptation. Progress is being made, but it is largely piecemeal.
The Global Commission on Adaptation seeks to accelerate adaptation action and support by elevating the political visibility of adaptation and focusing on concrete solutions. The Commission will demonstrate that adaptation is a cornerstone of better development, and can help improve lives, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and enhance resilience around the world. The Commission is led by Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO, World Bank. It is convened by 17 countries and guided by 28 commissioners. Four countries where WRI works have convened the Commission: China, India, Indonesia, and Mexico. A global network of research partners and advisors provide scientific, economic, and policy analysis. The Commission is co-managed by WRI and the Global Center on Adaptation.
The Commission works to address major roadblocks to adaptation action, including the failure of governments and businesses to incorporate climate change risks into development plans and the lack of global leadership on adaptation. In its first year, the Commission will oversee preparation of a flagship report, to be released in September 2019. The report will set out:
Why adapting to climate risks and accelerated action is essential;
What new actions are needed and what must be done differently;
How governments, companies and citizens can work to make the world a safer, better place.
In parallel, the Commission will catalyze and guide several high-impact action tracks on urgent issue areas, including food security and rural livelihoods, infrastructure and urban resilience. Each track will build on existing initiatives and be supported by key champions and coalitions. From late 2019 through 2020, the Commission will facilitate a Year of Action to advance the recommendations from the report and the action tracks. This concentrated effort will help accelerate adaptation action and support that will improve human well-being and result in better, more sustainable economic development and security for all.