Adapt Now: The Case for Adaptation

The Global Commission on Adaptation has just released 'Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience'. Setting out the case for strong and urgent action on Adaptation it notes a 'triple imperative' for adaptation:

Human Imperative: Climate change will exacerbate existing inequalities and disproportionately impact women and poor and already marginalised communities.

Environmental Imperative: A healthy natural environment is a key part of effective adaptation; conserving and restoring natural environments both reduces biodiversity loss and increases our resilience to climate change.

Economic Imperative: The report finds positive rates of return for investments to increase resilience, ranging from 2:1 to 10:1. Failing to invest in adaptation would mean missing out on trillions of dollars of potential growth.

The report assessed illustrative returns across five areas, finding that an investment of $1.8tn could generate a return of $7.1tn. More important than the exact figures, which are subject to the standard caveats and uncertainties is the robust economic case being made for investment in Adaptation. Importantly they highlight not only the benefits from avoided losses, but also the additional economic, social and environmental benefits from adaptation activities.

Achieving the step-change needed to create a more resilient world will require greater understanding and integration of risk across both the public and private sectors, much improved planning frameworks which better include climate risk and adaptation, and a significant increase in the mobilization of finance for adaptation.

At GCAP we see our work with the European Investment Bank and African Development Banks on mainstreaming adaptation and climate risk management as a key step in helping to create a more climate resilient financial system. There's a lot be done, but a huge opportunity over the next five years for real change in the way assess and manage climate risks.

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