New global coalition to address impacts of climate change

A new global coalition involving Malawi and aimed at tackling the impacts of climate change is set to be launched.

The coalition has been developed by the UK in partnership with Egypt, Bangladesh, Malawi, the Netherlands, Saint Lucia and the United Nations.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will launch the coalition in a virtual address to the Netherlands-hosted Climate Adaptation Summit, taking place on Monday 25 to Tuesday 26 January. The event will be the first ever global summit focused solely on adaptation and resilience.

According to the UK Embassy in Malawi, the Coalition will work to turn international political commitments made through the United Nations Call for Action on Adaptation and Resilience into on-the-ground support for vulnerable communities.

“It is undeniable that climate change is already upon us and is already devastating lives and economies. We must adapt to our changing climate, and we must do so now.

“I’ll be making the need for a resilient recovery a priority of the UK’s G7 presidency this year. To make sure we get not just warm words but real change, I am today launching an all-new Adaptation Action Coalition to set the agenda ahead of COP26.

“Let’s work together to adapt, to become more resilient, and to save lives and livelihoods all around the world,” said Johnson ahead of the summit.

COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma noted that the most vulnerable are at the greatest risk from climate change, and that they have done the least to cause it.

“Action to address this and build resilience is needed now, before more people lose lives or livelihoods.

“I am calling on all countries to come forward with ambitious adaptation plans. This important new coalition will crucially focus minds around the world to accelerate adaptation delivery in the areas most in need,” said Sharma.

UK Commissioner to the Global Commission on Adaptation Emma Howard Boyd said: “Last week, flood defences protected tens of thousands of people in England from record river levels during Storm Christoph. Investments in flood protections help economic development and also improve health and wellbeing by enhancing green and blue spaces.

“The Environment Agency, government and local partners have a lot of expertise to share with the world, and we also have a lot to learn. International collaboration, as championed by this coalition, is vital.”

The Coalition will draw on the expertise of scientists, businesses, civil society and more, and will act as a forum for developed and developing countries to share knowledge and best practice on local, regional and global solutions to deal with climate change.

The UN High-Level Climate Champions’ Race to Resilience campaign and new Dutch-led Adaptation Action Agenda will help inform the Coalition to host a series of sector specific events, bringing together governments, private sector, communities and funders to deliver action to safeguard people and economies from the impacts of climate change.

Many countries across the world are already experiencing the impacts of climate change, from forest fires in Australia to the recent cyclones in Mozambique. Without action, many more will experience significant disruption and extreme weather, devastating communities and livelihoods.

According to the UK embassy, with support, countries and communities can adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Measures like early warning systems for storms, investing in flood drainage and drought resistant crops are cost-effective, saving not just money, but lives and livelihoods.

The UK is already taking action both at home and internationally to improve resilience to climate change, becoming one of the first countries in the world to fulfil a key commitment of the Paris Agreement by publishing its Adaptation Communication at the end of last year.

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