World Resource Institute


On September 10, 2019, the Global Commission on Adaptation released its flagship report, Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience. The report puts forward a bold vision for how to transform key systems to be more resilient and productive. It is designed to inspire action among decision-makers, including heads of state and government officials, mayors, business executives, investors and community leaders.

Report authors found that adaptation can produce significant economic returns, as well as numerous social and environmental benefits. Specifically, the analysis found that investing $1.8 trillion globally in five areas from 2020 to 2030 could generate $7.1 trillion in total net benefits. The five areas include: early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure, improved dryland agriculture, mangrove protection and resilient water resources. These areas represent only a portion of the total investments needed and total benefits available.

The report calls for revolutions in three areas—understanding, planning and finance—to ensure that climate impacts, risks and solutions are factoring into decision-making at all levels. The report explores how these major changes can be applied across seven interlocking systems: food, natural environment, water, cities, infrastructure, disaster risk management, and finance.

Numerous organizations, partners, researchers and individuals contributed to the writing and research. A set of background papers on key systems and cross-cutting issues informed the report content.

Learn more and download the full report here.

Background Papers

The Global Commission on Adaptation commissioned a series of background papers to inform the Commission's flagship report. These papers are intended to produce a concise yet comprehensive assessment of adaptation in a key system or cross-cutting issue. Below are links to download the papers.


Food Security & Smallholder Livelihoods

Natural Environment


Cities & Urban Areas


Private Sector

Social Equity and Protection

Cross-Cutting Issues