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What Investing In Climate Adaptations Can Do – New UN Report

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A new United Nations report says investing in climate adaptations and the innovation that comes with it can unlock new opportunities and spur change across the globe.

The report released at the ongoing 14th Conference of Parties (CoP) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in India titled ‘The Future is Now: Science for Achieving Sustainable Development’, warns that the world must drastically cut emissions and adapt to a warming world to create safer, stronger and thriving communities around the globe.

Listing the threat the world risks by failing to do this, the report said:

  • Without adaptation, climate change may depress growth in global agricultural yields up to 30 per cent by 2050. The 500 million small farms around the world will be most affected.
  • The number of people who may lack sufficient water, at least one month per year, will soar from 3.6 billion today to more than 5 billion by 2050.
  • Rising seas and greater storm surges could force hundreds of millions of people in coastal cities from their homes, with a total cost to coastal urban areas of more than $1 trillion each year by 2050.
  • Climate change could push more than 100 million people within developing countries below the poverty line by 2030.

Presenting the report, Anand Patwardhan, research director of the Global Commission on Adaptation said the commission was formed to raise the visibility of climate adaptation on the global agenda and inspire action.

“Adaptation can bring out bold ideas and inspire innovation beyond what people currently think is possible. Most of all, we need political leadership that shakes people out of their collective slumber.

“Government officials and business leaders need to radically rethink how they make decisions. We need a revolution in understanding, planning, and finance that makes climate risks visible, incorporates these risks into all decisions, and releases public and private financial flows,” it said.

The report with cross-cutting recommendations in the key areas of food security, the natural environment, water, cities and urban areas, infrastructure, disaster risk management, and finance, also presented the commission’s 15 months’ initiatives to drive a set of action tracks meant to mobilize scaled-up action that will continue beyond its lifetime and realize its goals over the next 5 to 10 years.

The commission is led by Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO, World Bank, and is guided by 34 commissioners. It consists of leaders from political, business, multilateral, and scientific worlds and is convened by 20 countries.

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