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Dutch minister ‘thrilled’ by results of Climate Adaptation Summit

The international online Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS) 2021, hosted by the Netherlands, ended on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 with the event’s host, Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, expressing her satisfaction with its results.

Cora van Nieuwenhuizen
Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen

“I’m thrilled that our mission to accelerate climate adaptation around the world is succeeding,” van Nieuwenhuizen said at a press briefing. “It’s incredible how much energy has come together at this summit. World leaders are announcing concrete and ambitious plans. Promising multi-stakeholder initiatives are born. Knowledge and best practices are shared. A great boost to climate adaptation.”

On the first day of the summit on Monday, over 30 world leaders already expressed their support for climate adaptation in online messages. They all promised action, unveiled concrete initiatives or committed to raising adaptation finance.

“We have heard so many game-changing initiatives to make the world more resilient,” van Nieuwenhuizen said. “It was the first climate summit since a long time where China and the United States stood side-by-side to affirm their commitment to climate action.”

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Addressing the Summit via video link in Beijing, Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng on Monday called for joint efforts of all countries to enhance actions of climate adaptation and work for new progress in global climate governance.

Han said that climate change is the common challenge facing humanity, and its response requires accommodating both mitigation and adaptation.

China has attached equal importance to mitigation and adaptation, he said, adding that China is formulating a national strategy of adapting to climate change for 2035 and would make the country more resilient to climate risks.

As 2021 marks the comprehensive implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change, the vice premier called for global solidarity to enhance adaptation actions to promote the new progress in global climate governance.

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Han also urged developed countries to offer more financial and technical support to developing countries regarding climate change.

John Kerry, the United States’ Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, announced that his country would increase funding for adaptation and resilience and improve adaptation programs.

“This summit couldn’t have been more timely as COVID-19 and climate change are two sides of the coin,” van Nieuwenhuizen said. “In the words of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of Bangladesh, COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of unity and timely action. The need to invest in adaptation action can coincide with the economic stimulus packages; it is even smart economics to do so.”

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Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said that her institution was increasing coverage of climate actions in its annual country economic assessments.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Global Centre on Adaptation (GCA) announced a new Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme (AAAP) focusing on agriculture, infrastructure, youth and innovative finance.

Among other leaders, French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed that €2 billion ($2.43 billion), one-third of France’s climate finance aid, will be allocated for climate adaptation. German Chancellor Angela Merkel committed an extra €270 million for climate adaptation.

All the contributions, initiatives, programmes and best practices discussed during the two-day CAS 2021 will now be included in a comprehensive Adaptation Action Agenda that sets out practical climate solutions for this decade.

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