Dutch Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen speaks during President Biden’s climate summit

Today, Dutch Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (Infrastructure and Water Management) will be participating in the Leaders Summit on Climate. The Summit has been initiated by US President Joe Biden. Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen is contributing to the ministerial break-out session on Adaptation and Resilience, chaired by US Secretary of State for Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

Immediately upon his inauguration in January, President Biden stated that the US would once more endorse the Paris climate agreement. US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry announced this during the Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS) in The Hague on 25 and 26 January. Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen, who hosted this conference, co-initiated the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) in 2018, with the aim of prioritising the importance of adaptation to climate change on the political agenda.

The Leaders Summit on Climate is focused on, inter alia, gaining momentum on the road to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which is scheduled for November. This is where the new climate plans need to be set down in order to ensure that the Paris agreements remain within reach. In addition, the Summit is garnering attention for the prevention of damage caused by climate change, including sea level rise, especially in vulnerable countries.

Key issues that the Minister will highlight during the session include the plea to bring adaptation funding on a par with mitigation funding, and additional commitment to capacity building and knowledge sharing. She will also go into the role of water, particularly in regions that run the highest risks of being faced with disproportionate consequences of the changing climate.

Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen: ‘Ninety per cent of climate disasters are related to water. Water is a crucial factor in climate adaptation. That is why we must share relevant solutions faster and on a larger scale. That is the only way to change course.’

For that reason, in the build-up to COP26, the Netherlands will join the United Kingdom and the Alliance for Global Water Adaptation to actively make a case for increasing the importance of a focus on water in national adaptation plans.

Following the Climate Adaptation Summit, the Minister’s presence at the Leaders Summit ties in with a series of activities related to the Netherlands’ global commitment to expedite adaptation efforts in the run-up to COP26. Earlier this week, the Minister discussed this with Anne-Marie Trevelyan (UK International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency). The issue will also be tabled during the Informal Environment Council meeting, where the EU adaptation strategy will be discussed. Bilateral collaboration in the fields of climate adaptation and sustainable mobility will also be enhanced, as was agreed this week in a consultative meeting between the Dutch Minister and her US counterpart, Transportation Secretary Buttigieg.