UN Climate Summit: wide support for new climate centre set up in the Netherlands

At the international climate summit in Bonn, Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (Infrastructure and Water Management) called for attention to be paid to the impact of climate change. She presented the opening address at the commencement meeting of the Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation (GCECA) to be established in the Netherlands. In her address, she underscored the importance of international collaboration and knowledge exchange in order to improve our resilience against the changing climate.

‘Adapting to the impact of climate change requires as much attention as tackling its causes. By now, ninety per cent of all natural disasters are water-related. Climate proofing saves lives and spares our living environment, across the globe, time and again,’ Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen stated. ‘The Netherlands has gained a great deal of experience in climate adaptation. Our continuous struggle against the water has put us in an excellent position to transfer such expertise and innovations. For that reason, the Netherlands has set itself up as the location for this international climate institute, which will be active at the international level and which will serve countries everywhere in the world.’

Rotterdam and Groningen

The Centre has been initiated by the UN, in collaboration with the Netherlands, Japan, and the Philippines. At an earlier date, a special committee designated Rotterdam and Groningen as locations. Due to its situation in the Dutch delta, Rotterdam has built a strong international reputation in the field of climate adaptation; furthermore, it is well accessible in international terms. In addition, the city is constructing a new, climate-neutral floating office building to accommodate the Centre’s staff.

In Groningen, GCECA will be housed in the innovative, sustainable Energy Academy Europe office building. With Groningen University and businesses already engaged in climate issues, the city offers a perfect breeding ground for the climate centre.

Worldwide knowledge network

The risk of natural disasters and other problems ensuing from climate change is increasing all over the world. GCECA will be supporting countries, organisations, and businesses with knowledge and advice in the field of climate adaptation, in order to better prepare them for tackling the impact of climate change. The centre will amass an ever-expanding network of international partners, among which leading knowledge institutes, businesses, NGOs, local and national governments, international organisations, and the financial sector.


The parties participating in the Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation include the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), UN Environment, Japan National Institute for Environmental Studies, Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport, S&P Global, Delta Alliance, Deltares, Stockholm Environment Institute, Acclimatise, Netherlands Water Partnership, MCII, World Resources Institute, Wageningen University and Research Centre, UNEP DTU Partnership, SNV, Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, GEF, Adaptation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, NDC Partnership, Climate-KIC, Fundación Avina, African Climate Policy Centre, World Meteorological Organisation, Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre, C40, Care, WWF, IDRC, Delft University of Technology, and IHE.