Miami new operating base for Dutch climate expertise office

The American city of Miami has taken the initiative to set up an office of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA). It will be a regional office to the branches that opened in the Dutch cities of Rotterdam and Groningen last year. Today, Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (Infrastructure and Water Management) set down an agreement to this effect with Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

The GCA operates as a knowledge broker to assist countries, regions, and cities in developing solutions aimed at improving their resilience to the changing climate, such as the rising sea level and prolonged periods of drought. The new GCA Miami Office will be fulfilling this role for the North American continent.

Ms Van Nieuwenhuizen: ‘As is the case in the Netherlands, its low elevation is facing Miami with the need to reinforce its coast in order to cope with the rising sea level, and to redesign vulnerable sections of this metropolis. By accommodating this new climate expertise office with a Dutch touch, Mayor Suarez once more underlines his message that timely investments to mitigate climate damage will be more efficient and cheaper than having to clean up the damage afterwards.’

‘Collaboration lies at the core of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) model for advancing long-term solutions to many of our most crucial resiliency challenges,’ said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. ‘This joint declaration signals, yet again, how the issue of climate adaptability continues to unite us and foster cooperation among organizations and countries, like the Netherlands, from across the globe to pave the way as climate solution leaders.’

Global Commission

Mayor Suarez joined the Global Commission on Adaptation as a member last year. This international Commission was set up on the initiative of Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen; it is chaired by Mr Ban Ki-Moon, Ms Kristalina Georgieva, and Mr Bill Gates. In addition to the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, its goal is to convince countries and regions of the need for timely investments in adaptation to the impact of the changing climate.

Florida coast

Miami will be the first city in the United States to feel the impact of the changing climate. Large parts of the city are situated only just above sea level and are fully unprotected. Should the sea level rise by 60 cm by 2050, as expected, a major part of the city will be flooded if the State fails to invest in, e.g., coastal protection. In addition to the experience that the city of Miami will be sharing from this regional office, its staff will also disseminate practical climate solutions from other continents. Earlier this year, the GCA opened an office in Beijing, which will service the Asian region.

Year of Action

Tomorrow, Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen will attend the UN Climate Summit in New York, where she will kick off the Global Commission Year of Action, along with Chairman Ban Ki-Moon and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Over the next twelve months, the Commissioners will be elaborating the conclusions set down in their flagship report into concrete plans for improving the resilience of vulnerable areas. On 22 October 2020, the Year of Action will be rounded off during the Climate Action summit in Amsterdam. This Climate Summit will give countries, businesses, and NGOs the opportunity to showcase, inter alia, the climate solutions they have implemented.