The need to accelerate adaptation in cities and invest in solutions with multiple benefits is higher than ever.

ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands (January 25, 2021) — At the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021, the mayors of Miami, Paris, and Rotterdam joined WRI, the Global Center on Adaptation, and more than three dozen other cities, NGOs and governments to confirm the urgency to act now on climate adaptation, commit to support further development and implementation of the new 1000 Cities Act Now initiative, and call on leaders to support and facilitate this global program.

As cities recover from COVID-19, smart investments and policies on resilience can create a triple dividend helping cities boost their economies, improving equity, and preparing communities for inevitable climate and health threats. According to the Global Commission on Adaptation’s Adapt Now report, adaptation investments consistently deliver high returns, with benefit-cost ratios ranging from 2:1 to 10:1. And when compared to traditional investments, adaptation investments often create more jobs, many of which are at the local level.

The health and economic impacts of COVID-19, climate change and inequality are deeply intertwined. The need to accelerate inclusive adaptation in cities and to invest in solutions is higher than ever before. Cities must and can make a difference, we have no time to waste.

To help cities recover from COVID-19 and build a more climate-resilient and inclusive future, solutions must deliver immediate benefits to our most vulnerable communities, while also strengthening cities’ individual and collective capacities to adapt and thrive in the face of climate change contributing to and in line with the COP26 High Level Climate Champion’s Race to Resilience.

5 Principles of Accelerating and Scaling Urban Climate Adaptation

We (the Coalition and the first cohort of Partners) commit to support the most vulnerable urban communities and help accelerate and scale urban climate adaptation globally during the Decade of Action by implementing the following five principles:

  1. Strengthen and prioritize urban adaptation and climate resilience in cities with a focus on equity and the most vulnerable and poor communities and settlements in the world
  2. Build water-resilient cities and scale nature-based solutions to address climate risks
  3. Advocate for more devolved mandates and funding for cities and advance coordinated leadership to gain political leverage and financing at scale
  4. Enhance knowledge and capacity on urban adaptation and support peer-to-peer collaboration for deep, long-term and systemic change
  5. Coordinate methods and (smart) innovations, partners and investments to maximize synergy and impact and accelerate implementation

1000 Cities Adapt Now Global Program

The main goal of the 1000 Cities Adapt Now global program is to accelerate adaptation in 1000 cities by 2030, reducing climate risks and improving the quality of life for 500 million to 1 billion people.

To achieve this, the program is promoting a comprehensive package of measures including the implementation of nature-based solutions, urban water resilience solutions and a transformative capacity building program. An alliance of core delivery partners will start implementation in a first batch of 100 cities. This program will focus on climate adaptation in cities as leverage for an inclusive and resilient COVID-19 recovery, while creating a pathway to reach the Paris climate adaptation goals.

To deliver on these commitments and generate the necessary speed and scale we must work with cities, community groups, international organizations, financial institutions, city networks and knowledge partners. To kick off, the program has initiated several actions and related partnerships to start creating impact in cities.

The Global Center on Adaptation and World Resources Institute are co-leading the Resilient Cities Action Track to build a 10-year program and a growing coalition to accelerate urban resilience.

The lead coalition partners, the Global Center on Adaptation, World Resources Institute, the Resilient Cities Network and UN-Habitat are responding to the needs of the cities to start adapting to climate change now, and commit to operationalize the Global Program through:

  • System Change: A growing coalition of global organizations will coordinate technical support and investments, share knowledge and networks to maximize impact and accelerate implementation on the ground in cities
  • Strategic Solutions: Adaptation as a driver of resilient recovery to advance three high impact adaptation solutions: nature-based adaptation, urban water resilience, and inclusive and locally led adaptation for the urban poor
  • Scaling Strategy: Transformative capacity building, by building an urban adaptation practice and by supporting local and global knowledge partnerships on adaptation


  • Francis X. Suarez, Mayor of Miami
  • Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris
  • Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam
  • Patrick Verkooijen, CEO, Global Center on Adaptation
  • Andrew Steer, CEO, World Resources Institute



  • Global Center on Adaptation
  • World Resources Institute
  • Resilient Cities Network
  • UN-Habitat


  • Slum Dwellers International (SDI)
  • Deltares
  • The IHE/IHS/TU Delft-coalition
  • The Collaborative on Urban Resilience and Effectiveness
  • BLUE21
  • Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water
  • The Global Environment Facility
  • The Global Covenant of Mayors


  • International Centre for Climate Change and Development
  • Least Developed Countries Universities Consortium on Climate Change
  • Global Network for Advanced Management
  • Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Rotary International
  • Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation Germany (BMZ)
  • Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Canada
  • United Nations Environment Programme


  • Accra – Mayor Adjei Sowah
  • Antwerp – Mayor Bart de Wever
  • Athens – Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis
  • Beira – Mayor Daviz Simango
  • Christchurch – Mayor Lianne Dalziel
  • The Hague – Mayor Jan van Zanen
  • Greater Manchester – Mayor Andy Burnham
  • Groningen – Mayor Koen Schuiling
  • Istanbul – Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu
  • Jakarta – Governor Anies Baswedan
  • Khulna – Mayor Talukder Abdul Khaleque
  • Milan – Mayor Giuseppe Sala
  • Miami – Mayor Francis Suarez
  • Paris – Mayor Anne Hidalgo
  • Rotterdam – Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb
  • Surat – Commissioner Shri Banchhanidhi Pani
  • Tirana – Mayor Erion Veliaj

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