Climate Adaptation Summit

25 January 2021, from the Netherlands

Climate Adaptation Summit goes online

To help trigger the systemic change required for a climate resilient world, the Netherlands will host the first ever global summit of world leaders entirely focused on climate change adaptation on January 25, 2021. The online Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS Online) will be a climate neutral online conference over the course of 24 hours with online Anchoring Events taking place in different capitals around the world.

As the world aims to rebound and emerge better equipped from the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, CAS Online provides a unique opportunity for leaders to promote integrated efforts to improve resilience. The Netherlands joins the worldwide call for ‘building back better’, recognizing the opportunity to make economic recovery efforts sustainable and resilient to the impacts of climate change. The Summit will support integrated efforts to restore prosperity, build back better and secure progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Previously scheduled in October 2020, the new format and date of the summit enables the maximum level of participation and engagement regardless of possible travel restrictions at the start of the new year. World leaders from politics, business and civil society, will join counterparts and communities from across the world to highlight the challenges and solutions from different regions and thematic areas.

Building on the work of the Global Commission on Adaptation

The Summit will mark the end of a Year of Action launched by the Global Commission on Adaptation at the UN’s 2019 Climate Summit. Drawing from the expertise of global leaders from different sectors and across the world, the Global Commission was set up in 2018 on the initiative of Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen (Infrastructure and Water Management) to catalyze bold action to manage the effects of climate change through technology, planning and investment.

It’s flagship report ‘Adapt Now’ made the case that the urgent need to adapt can deliver high rates of return, bringing multiple benefits to people and the economy. During its Year of Action, the Commission has been working with partner countries, cities, businesses, civil society and other experts to deliver practical solutions to climate impacts resulting from higher temperatures, rising seas, fiercer storms and more unpredictable rainfall. The Commission has been leading on several high-impact Action Tracks on urgent areas, including food security, infrastructure, locally led

action, preventing extreme weather becoming disasters, nature-based solutions, finance, and cities. Each Action Track builds on existing initiatives to accelerate, finance and scale adaptation action, catalysing coalitions of champions to set and scale tangible targets.

Raising ambitions and accelerating action

The CAS online will build on the work of the Commission, delivering enhanced ambition, accelerated actions, and tangible solutions to the problems of a warming world. An Adaptation Action Agenda will elevate the importance of enhanced ambition on adaptation, including at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, immediately after the CAS online, and onwards to the UN climate change COP26 conference later in 2021. Contributions from around the world will highlight the most pressing international challenges and solutions.

In hosting the CAS online, the Netherlands will closely collaborate with the Netherlands-based Global Center on Adaptation and the Global Commission on Adaptation, led by the 8th UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

The CAS online will consist of several program components: a limited physical meeting for selected dignitaries in the Netherlands, which will be streamed worldwide and joined online by several heads of state and government; and several supporting meetings on the same day in various capital cities around the world, both physically and online. The possibility to organize side events worldwide underlines the inclusive character of CAS online. There will also be a special event that focuses on Africa – a continent on the frontline of our climate emergency. Anchoring events will focus on the Actions Tracks, bringing together the specific knowledge and needs of different regions. The CAS online will digitally connect the different events over a 24 hour cycle to reach a global audience in spite of the current physical limitations.