UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new international coalition to tackle the impacts of climate change.
In a virtual address to the Netherlands-hosted Climate Adaptation Summit, the first ever global summit focused solely on adaptation and resilience, the Prime Minister launched the Adaptation Action Coalition.
Developed by the UK in partnership with Saint Lucia, Egypt, Bangladesh, Malawi, the Netherlands and the United Nations, this new Coalition will work to turn international political commitments made through the United Nations Call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience into on-the-ground support for vulnerable communities.
Many countries across the world are already experiencing the impacts of climate change, from extreme hurricanes in the Caribbean to forest fires in Australia and recent cyclones in Mozambique. Without action, many more will experience significant disruption and extreme weather, devastating communities and livelihoods.
With support, countries and communities can adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Measures like early warning systems for storms, investing in flood drainage and drought resistant crops are cost-effective, saving not just money, but lives and livelihoods.
The UK for example, is experiencing more high rainfall events as a result of climate change. As a result the British Government has committed an additional £5.2 billion to new flood and coastal defence schemes.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at the Adaptation Summit:
“It is undeniable that climate change is already upon us and is already devastating lives and economies. We must adapt to our changing climate, and we must do so now.
“I’ll be making the need for a resilient recovery a priority of the UK’s G7 presidency this year. To make sure we get not just warm words but real change, I am today launching an all-new Adaptation Action Coalition to set the agenda ahead of COP26.
“Let’s work together to adapt, to become more resilient, and to save lives and livelihoods all around the world.”
COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma said:
“We know that the most vulnerable are at the greatest risk from climate change, and that they have done the least to cause it. Action to address this and build resilience is needed now, before more people lose lives or livelihoods.
“I am calling on all countries to come forward with ambitious adaptation plans. This important new coalition will crucially focus minds around the world to accelerate adaptation delivery in the areas most in need.”
The Coalition will draw on the world-wide expertise of scientists, businesses, civil society and more, and will act as a forum for developing and developed countries to share knowledge and best practice on local, regional and global solutions to deal with climate change.
The UN High-Level Climate Champions’ Race To Resilience campaign and the new Dutch-led Adaptation Action Agenda will help the Coalition host a series of sector specific events, bringing together governments, the private sector, communities and funders to deliver action to safeguard people and economies from the impacts of climate change.
The UK is already taking action both at home and internationally to improve resilience to climate change, becoming one of the first countries in the world to fulfil a key commitment of the Paris Agreement by publishing its Adaptation Communication at the end of last year.