CAS 2021 Opening Session

The global Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS) 2021 started with an Opening Session on Monday 25 January at 13:55 CET in the Netherlands.

Watch this session, with contributions from Heads of State and Government and other leaders, on demand on CAS TV. A summary video is also available.

Adaptation action and funding

Various concrete initiatives and enhanced ambitions from governments, development banks, institutions and cities were launched to drastically drive climate adaptation worldwide. To turn ambitions into reality, speakers committed to significantly raising adaptation finance.

Opening Session
Dutch Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and host Sacha de Boer watch world leaders who have joined online during the Opening Session.
  • Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte reiterated that all Dutch public finance continues to be equally focused – 50/50 – on mitigation and adaptation.
  • UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for 50% of the total share of climate finance provided by all donors and multilateral development banks to be allocated to adaptation and resilience.
  • The new US Climate Envoy, John Kerry, assured world leaders in his first public appearance on the international stage that the Biden administration has made international climate action a top priority and will help promote more ambition in adaptation and resilience.
  • Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng called on the international community to redouble its national adaptation efforts and to implement the adaptation commitments made in the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Opening Session
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva addresses the Summit, with UNSG António Guterres and GCA Board Chair Ban Ki-moon joining online as well.
  • IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva announced the IMF is increasing coverage of climate actions in its annual country economic assessments and will incorporate climate risks in its financial sector assessments. The IMF will also scale up capacity development to support member countries with climate-related skills and launch a new data initiative to help countries track climate change risks and policies.
  • The World Bank Group committed to maintaining the share of its total climate finance that is earmarked for climate adaptation to at least 50%. Its president Malpass also announced a USD 5 billion investment in the Great Green Wall that combats desertification in Africa.
Opening Session
President of the African Development Bank Akinwumi Adesina addresses the CAS 2021 Opening Session.
  • The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) announced a new Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP). This flagship program will focus on agriculture, infrastructure, youth, and innovative finance. The AfDB has committed to mobilize USD 25 billion as climate finance between 2020 and 2025, of which at least 50% will support climate adaptation and resilience building. AfdB and GCA will use this to leverage an additional USD 12.5 billion through other key partners.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed that EUR 2 billion – one third of France’s climate finance aid – will be allocated for climate adaptation.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel committed a total of EUR 270 million extra budget for climate adaptation, in support of vulnerable communities.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson launched the Adaptation Action Coalition, a group of leading nations that will be working with the Race2Relience initiative and the UN Climate Action team towards COP26 later this year. In partnership with Egypt, Bangladesh, Malawi, the Netherlands, Saint Lucia and the UNDP, the Coalition will aim to accelerate efforts to turn political commitment into tangible action on the ground to support those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced to contribute to the launch of the GCA Youth Leadership program focused on building the next generation.
Joint Statement presented
At the CAS 2021 Mayors’ Forum, Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb presents the Joint Statement to GCA Board Chair Ban Ki-moon (joining online).
  • Cities are key to accelerating adaptation action globally – by 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. On behalf of global cities and leading cities networks, Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb announced the 1000 Cities Adapt Now Program (1000CAN) to help 1,000 cities adapt to climate change over the next ten years.
  • Over 50 ministers from different perspectives and regions joined the Ministerial dialogue, stating the importance of adaptation action and their contributions. The dialogue showed commitment for action on the ground and the readiness of this ministerial level to guide the Adaptation Action Agenda towards a climate resilient future.
  • Five Nobel Prize Laureates presented the “Groningen Scientific Declaration” in Groningen and this was signed by 3,000 scientists from over more than 100 countries. The amount that countries worldwide spend on this must increase five to ten times to a maximum of USD 300 billion.
  • Young people from more than 115 countries presented a call to action to government leaders entitled “Adapt for our Future”.
  • Nine (inter)national design agencies presented a joint manifesto with 10 principles for successful climate-proof design solutions, supported by Henk Ovink, Water Envoy of the Netherlands and George Brugmans, director of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam.

Results of other CAS 2021 sessions

During the 24 hours after the Opening Session, Anchoring Events and other parts of the CAS 2021 programme delivered as well. Outcomes and results are accessible from the Summit outcomes page, and are also subsumed in a wrap-up press release and its annex.

Children replace concrete pavement in gardens with flowers.
©VidiPhoto / Hollandse Hoogte
Schoolchildren in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, participate in the Steenbreek project, removing concrete pavement from gardens and replacing it with flowers so the soil underneath can absorb rainwater.