Climate Adaptation Summit

25 January 2021, from the Netherlands

Climate Adaptation Summit goes online

The world urgently needs to enhance its ambitions and take bold action to tackle the climate emergency. Recognising this, the Netherlands government will host an online international Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS Online) on 25 January 2021, the first ever dedicated platform of global leaders aimed at firmly placing the world on a pathway to accelerated adaptation and resilience.

As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAS will deliver action and inspire change to help societies build back better and act as a vanguard contribution to the transitions required for a climate resilient world. Participating leaders will launch a comprehensive Adaptation Action Agenda with clear committments to deliver concrete new efforts and partnerships.

Over the course of 24 hours, online Anchoring Events from around the world, will support integrated efforts to secure progress towards the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Previously scheduled for October 2020, the new date and online format enables the maximum level of participation and engagement, while minimizing the impact on the environment.

CAS Online will build on the advances of the United Nations Climate Action Summit by showcasing pioneering solutions to the climate emergency, and sustain momentum through to UNFCCC’s COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, responding to the call from UN Secretary-General António Guterres for “more concrete plans, more ambition from more countries and more businesses”. The Summit serves as the culmination of a Year of Action, launched by Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte, with the Adaptation Action Agenda building on the working of the Global Commission on Adaptation, led by Ban Ki-moon, Bill Gates and Kristalina Georgieva. CAS Online will bring together institutions, government leaders, city mayors, senior figures from the private sector, civil society and youth movements, and drive the critical changes needed in the way societies manage the effects of our climate emergency. It will deliver enhanced ambition, accelerated actions, and tangible solutions to the problems of a warming world, showing how a climate resilient future can and will be achieved. 

Context: Why a Summit on Adaptation and Climate Resilience

As the world rebounds and aims to emerge better equipped from the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is an unprecedented moment to promote integrated efforts to improve resilience. Even as effects of the pandemic test the the stress limits of increasingly overwhelmed communities, preparations for more extreme and widespread changes are an urgent and demanding priority. Recognizing mitigation as the best form of adaptation, we must invest in a massive effort to adapt to conditions that are now inevitable. Government, business and other leaders need to radically rethink how to protect people, the planet and our prosperity. The flagship report of the Global Commission on Adaptation, “Adapt Now”, made the case for revolutions in understanding, planning and financing that makes climate risks visible, incorporates these risks into all decisions, and releases public and private financial flows. Collectively, the international community benefits enormously from managing these complex and interconnected challenges, with the CAS Online providing a unique opportunity for leaders to promote integrated efforts to improve resilience. 

Online Summit

The CAS Online will consist of several complementary components, led by a restricted physical meeting for leaders in the Netherlands streamed worldwide, who will be joined online by other participating Heads of State and Government. CAS Online will also be supported by events on the same day around the world, both in-person when appropriate and online. The opportunity to showcase contributions from around the world, highlighting the most pressing international challenges and solutions, reflects the inclusive nature of the CAS Online as it seeks to grow the movement for accelerated adaptation action.

The CAS Online will digitally connect all the different events over a 24 hour cycle, leveraging its collective strength to reach a global audience in spite of any ongoing travel and meeting limitations:

  • A restricted physical meeting for selected dignitaries at the new floating office of the Global Center on Adaptation, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
  • High-Level Anchoring Events will focus on thematic areas, bringing together the knowledge and needs of different regions.
  • Supporting side meetings on the same day in cities around the world, bringing together perspectives of relevant communities.
  • There will also be a special event that focuses on Africa – a continent on the frontline of our climate emergency.

Preparation and Follow-up

In hosting the CAS Online, the Netherlands will closely collaborate with the Global Center on Adaptation, an international organization hosted by the Netherlands to act as a solutions broker to accelerate, innovate and scale adaptation action for a climate resilient world. A dedicated Ministerial Summit-team, various Road-to-CAS events by different partners, supported by the diplomatic network of the Netherlands, and an online portal mark the pathway towards 25 January 2021. CAS Online represents a unique moment in time to connect actions, solutions and challenges to build back better and accelerate adaptation action. The Netherlands aims to use this moment to deliver an actionable agenda for a transformational decade towards 2030.