Leaders from the Global Commission on Adaptation call on governments and businesses to take urgent action to innovate and advance climate adaptation solutions in light of new research findings.
The report, Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience, was released as climate impacts — such as super-charged hurricanes, floods, and wildfires — are becoming an increasingly urgent reality. As recent events have shown, climate change affects people everywhere. Furthermore, without action, millions of people will be pushed further into poverty, leading to increased conflict and instability.
The report puts forward a bold vision for how to transform key systems to be more resilient and productive. The commission found that adaptation can produce significant economic returns. The overall rate of return on investments in improved resilience is high, with benefit-cost ratios ranging from 2:1 to 10:1, and in some cases even higher.
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 the report considers are early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure, improved dryland agriculture, mangrove protection, and investments in making water resources more resilient. These areas represent only a portion of the total investments needed and total benefits available.
Climate adaptation can also deliver a “triple dividend” — it avoids future losses, generates positive economic gains through innovation, and delivers additional social and environmental benefits.
“Climate change doesn’t respect borders: it’s an international problem that can only be solved with cooperation and collaboration, across borders and worldwide,” said Ban Ki-moon, eighth secretary general of the United Nations and chair of the global commission on adaptation. “It is becoming increasingly clear that in many parts of the world, our climate has already changed, and we need to adapt with it. Mitigation and adaptation go hand-in-hand as two equally important building blocks of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Adaptation is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do to boost economic growth and create a climate resilient world.”
To read the full report, click here.