Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Climate change adaptation coalition comes alive

British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson late last month virtually launched Climate Change Adaptation coalition – the first ever global summit focused solely on adaptation and resilience hosted by the Netherlands.

The coalition has been developed by the United Kingdom (UK) in partnership with Egypt, Bangladesh, Malawi, the Netherlands, Saint Lucia and the United Nations(UN).

It will work to turn international political commitments made through the UN call for action and adaptation and resilience into on-the-ground support for vulnerable communities.

A statement from the British High Commission in Botswana says: “ The adaptation action coalition takes forward the 2019 call for action for adaptation and resilience from the United Nations Climate Action Summit, committing countries to act on adaptation, integrate climate risk into all decision making, and increase the availability of adaptation financing. It has now been signed by over 120 countries, the European Union, and 86 organizations, including a number of UN agencies.”

Responding an enquiry, Head of Political Section and Climate Change at the Commission office Nicolas Jankowski explained that the six countries that formed the coalition are already experiencing the impacts of climate change.

“Without action many more countries will experience significant disruption and extreme weather, devastating communities and livelihoods.”

“Botswana is currently experiencing floods in some areas due to cyclones that have hit neighboring countries like Mozambique and Zimbabwe.  These are, to some extent signs of climate change,” so says Professor Elisha Toteng, Environmental Science Lecturer at the University of Botswana.

“Cyclones are described as wind storms accompanied with heavy rainfall at low pressure areas. They are caused due to a continuous process of rising of hot air over the ocean surface. This vacant space is then occupied by the cool air around, which further heats up and rises,” explained Prof Toteng.

Asked whether there is any eligibility for joining the coalition, Jankowski highlighted that; “Other countries are welcome to join the coalition at any time. Other countries that join should come forward with ambitious adaptation plans to accelerate actions and tangible solutions to the challenges of a world that is heating up, demonstrating how a climate-resilient future can and must be achieved.”

The Prime Minister observed during the summit that it is undeniable that climate change is already upon humanity and is already devastating lives and economies. Humanity must adapt to its changing climate, and must do so now.

“I’ll be making the need for a resilient recovery a priority of the UK’s G7 presidency this year. To make sure we get not just warm words but real change, I am today launching an all-new Adaptation Action Coalition to set the agenda ahead of COP26. Let’s work together to adapt, to become more resilient, and to save lives and livelihoods all around the world,” said Johnson.

The Summit brings together institutions, government leaders, mayors, private sector, civil society and youth movements, to drive forward the critical changes needed for societies to manage the effects of climate emergency. It will deliver enhanced ambition, accelerated actions and tangible solutions to the challenges of a world that is heating up, demonstrating how a climate-resilient future can and must be achieved.

Johnson appointed Anne-Marie Trevelyan as the UK’s International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency in November 2020 to drive forward global ambition and action to support countries on the frontline of climate change to adapt to its impacts and build resilience. In her role, she regularly engages with the governments of the countries most affected by climate change and works to drive support from the international community and private sector.

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