Opening Speech by Cora van Nieuwenhuizen Inaugural Ministerial Dialogue CAS 2021
“We must make up for lost ground and lost time, by accelerating action on climate adaptation. COVID-19 didn’t halt climate change. So we shouldn’t postpone the urgent task of preparing humanity to live with the various effects of global warming.”
Speech by minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen at the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 Ministerial Dialogue, Monday 25 January 2021.
Thank you, Patrick Verkooijen!
Mr Kerry, Mr Ban Ki-moon, ladies and gentlemen, friends,
What a turn-out! Over 50 high-level participants from around the world are contributing to this Inaugural Ministerial Dialogue!
It’s the first of many dialogues to come!
Today we will set the tone:
Ambitious adaptation action on this leadership roadmap up to 2030.
The summit couldn’t be more timely:
The past decade was the warmest on record, continuing a long-term trend that shows no sign of reversal.
Global warming, rising sea levels, drought, extreme rainfall, more and stronger hurricanes…
This is how climate change affects our daily lives, across the globe.
Last year – for the first time in history – we ran out of names for Atlantic hurricanes!
So we all share the sense of urgency, the will to turn the tide, the will to act now.
But even if we meet the Paris goals, we will still have to adapt to major irreversible changes.
Another reason this ministerial dialogue is so timely is that we all – every one of us – are acutely aware of the impact of COVID-19 on societies worldwide.
The pandemic is eroding recent progress in building climate resilience, leaving countries and communities more vulnerable to future shocks.
We must make up for lost ground and lost time, by accelerating action on climate adaptation.
COVID-19 didn’t halt climate change.
So we shouldn’t postpone the urgent task of preparing humanity to live with the various effects of global warming.
We are late. But it’s not too late.
Together, we will take unprecedented action.
And this radical phase requires special leadership.
That’s why we are here today.
Today is the kick-off for global leadership driving a decade of transformation towards a climate-resilient world by 2030.
We’ll discuss ambitions, financing and partnerships.
We will all contribute to this important event.
This initiative aims to maintain momentum towards COP26 later this year and beyond.
Because building resilience has never been more important.
Adaptation actions have a high return on investment.
This has been shown by the Global Commission on Adaptation, launched in 2019, in its Adapt Now flagship report.
At this time, in the face of the enormous challenges presented by the COVID pandemic, we need to invest our funds wisely.
We need to take a long-term view.
One that creates a healthy living environment, that improves biodiversity and delivers benefits for all.
We have work to do.
So I wish you all a very fruitful meeting.