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Netherlands accelerates climate adaptation action, forms Global Commission

The Government of the Netherlands and the Global Centre on Adaptation on Monday, September 10, 2018 unveiled plans for the formation of a forthcoming Global Commission on Adaptation, featuring the Netherlands as a key convener, which will be overseen by the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Bill Gates, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva.

Van Nieuwenhuizen

Dutch Minister, Van Nieuwenhuizen

The new Commission will be co-hosted by the Global Centre on Adaptation, an international organisation hosted by the Netherlands, in partnership with World Resources Institute. It will formally be launched on October 16 in The Hague, at which time the names of some 20 leading global Commissioners and 10 convening countries will be announced.

The announcement was made during an event marking the new construction of an innovative climate-adaptive floating office in Rotterdam by Dutch Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen (Infrastructure and Water Management), the initiating Commissioner. Van Nieuwenhuizen noted that the Commission will elevate the political visibility of adaptation and will focus on solutions, catalyzing a global adaptation movement and accelerating action.

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“For the Netherlands, looking for solutions to water issues is part of everyday life. This is not yet the case in other areas and countries that also increasingly are faced with extreme weather,” the Minister stated. “Climate change is making itself felt almost on a daily basis. Take, for example, the prolonged drought that currently is affecting large parts of Europe. By launching this Commission, we aim to press the need for worldwide climate adaptation,” she added.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “Today’s announcements by the Government of the Netherlands is a critical step forward to set in motion more vigorous attention to and action around climate adaptation. I congratulate Minister van Nieuwenhuizen for her role as an initiator of the Global Commission on Adaptation and look forward to collaborating with her and other global leaders as we embark on our worldwide mission to accelerate adaptation.”

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The floating office to be constructed in Rotterdam will be home to the Global Centre on Adaptation, which has expanded its mission under new leadership. In addition to its office in Rotterdam, the Global Centre will have an office in Groningen, which will be inaugurated by Mr. Ban on October 17. Patrick Verkooijen, the newly appointed Chief Executive Office of the Global Centre, said his goal is to inspire clarity behind the adaptation agenda and pursue pragmatic steps that can help address policies, investments, financing, and governance needed for more adaptation action globally.

“We act as a solutions broker,” Verkooijen said, “bringing together governments, the private sector, civil society, intergovernmental bodies, and knowledge institutions that can address the obstacles slowing down adaptation action.”

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Of the Global Centre, Mr. Ban noted that “the role of Global Center on Adaptation will be significant because we need all societies to learn from one another.  Under the exemplary and bold leadership of Patrick Verkooijen, the Center will help accelerate transformation at scale and at speed.”

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