Speech by Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Ministerial Segment on Climate Adaptation and Resilience
“Exactly five years after the signing of the Paris Agreement, we now know better how to safeguard their future. We know that climate mitigation is one side of the coin. The other is climate adaptation. All of this is a matter of survival. I therefore call on to increase financing for adaptation. We need to deliver on adaptation at COP26!”
First, I’d like to thank the Biden Administration for hosting this Leaders Summit on Climate.
You really are taking action.
Since February, Special Envoy Kerry has travelled the world to step up action on climate. Not only for ourselves but also for our children and grandchildren.
Exactly five years after the signing of the Paris Agreement, we now know better how to safeguard their future.
We know that climate mitigation is one side of the coin.
The other is climate adaptation.
We must ensure that we’re all able to deal with climate change.
- That we protect ourselves against rising sea levels and degradation of fertile lands.
- That our cities can prosper, because we prevent floods and heatwaves.
- That we make our infrastructure resilient to extreme weather.
All of this is about survival.
The good news is: investing in adaptation pays off.
We’re talking about the adaptation dividend – the economic imperative.
In 2018 I initiated the Global Commission on Adaptation and found Ban Ki-moon, Kristalina Georgieva and Bill Gates willing to co-chair its proceedings.
The message in the Commission’s report is loud and clear:
Investing the necessary 1.8 trillion dollars in climate adaptation over the next 10 years could generate 7.1 trillion in net benefits.
By hosting the first global Climate Adaptation Summit earlier this year, my government brought together more than 30 world leaders to raise ambition on adaptation and resilience. The result was an adaptation action agenda that will guide our work in this decade of action.
Adaptation by countries hit hardest by climate change was a key topic at the summit. On that issue, the Netherlands is ensuring that its development aid is equally focused – 50/50 – on mitigation and adaptation.
I repeat Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s call to the world at the Climate Adaptation Summit to increase financing for adaptation to match financing for mitigation.
This is how we can deliver on the promise of the Paris Agreement.
We need to deliver on adaptation at COP26!
So, how do we bring adaptation to scale?
We know that 90% of all climate disasters involve water.
Water is the springboard, the lever for climate action and sustainable development.
Sharing solutions at scale and speed is needed if we’re to change course.
That’s why the Netherlands initiated and proudly hosts the Global Center on Adaptation.
And why we invest in regions that are at the highest risk, are hit the hardest and need our partnership the most.
Like Chennai in India, where the devastating drought made world headlines.
There, we launched a first pilot under the Water as Leverage programme that will reduce costs by 30 to 50 per cent through nature-based solutions.
And together with the Vietnamese government and the World Bank, we’re now also expanding the Water as Leverage Programme along Vietnam’s coast.
Two examples of the pathway to a better future.
Let’s take action and prepare ourselves.
Climate Adaptation is nothing less than a matter of survival.