This webinar series was designed as a precursor to the conference, highlighting the need to accelerate adaptation in today’s uncertain times an additional platform to feed into the global adaptation dialogue. It was conducted over three days, from 28-30 April 2020, focusing broadly on the issues of accelerating adaptation in uncertain times, climate justice and health. The three webinars saw insightful, informative discussions on topical issues by leading experts in the field of climate change and adaptation, with over 250 participants joining in each day from across the globe.
The detailed agenda for the webinar series is available here.
The webinar proceedings are available here.
Adaptation to climate change is essential and it is the only response available for the impacts that will occur over the next several decades before mitigation measures can have an effect. Societies, organisations and individuals have been adapting to changing conditions for centuries, but the advent of climate change brings new challenges. The future is plagued with substantial uncertainties, which makes anticipatory adaptation difficult. The fact that we have partial knowledge of future climate is in itself a new challenge. The Covid-19 emergency has ushered in a new era, where it has become all the more essential to adapt to and plan for an uncertain future.
This is the dialogue we wish to foster through this webinar, focusing on advancing the adaptation agenda through our six conference themes: Governance of adaptation, Limits to adaptation, Fairness and Equity in Adaptation, Knowledge for Action, Nature Based Solutions and Financing Adaptation.
This webinar will focus on ‘adaptation with a human face’. Climate change is often seen as a remote, abstract problem expressed in terms of temperature change of mere degrees, or in sea-level rises predicted decades into the future, and is often lost in number and figures, but it most often brings with it a human cost. Climate change is happening now and it is destroying livelihoods, infrastructure and communities, forcing people to move from their homes, towns and countries around the world. The planet’s poorest and most vulnerable are suffering the worst effects, despite having contributed the least to its cause. Climate change is a primary threat to our natural environment, but is most essentially a human rights issue, threatening livelihoods, development and security. Through this virtual event, we aim to view climate change adaptation through a human lens, furthering the discourse on safeguarding the rights of the most vulnerable people and on ensuring the equitable and fair sharing of burdens and benefits of climate change and its impacts. This dialogue will also highlight that the urgent action needed to adapt to climate change must be based on community-led solutions.
As COVID-19 ravages through the global economy, challenging and shattering decade old ‘economy first’ stand of the countries of the world, there are few constants and parallels to be drawn with climate emergency. While it is too early to suggest possible linkages of COVID-19 to climate change, the pandemic especially brings to the fore the exacerbated vulnerabilities to the lives and livelihoods of the already marginalised and those displaced. Climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health through essential requirements like clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter. Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress. The direct damage costs to health (i.e. excluding costs in health- determining sectors such as agriculture and water and sanitation), is estimated to be between USD 2-4 billion/year by 2030. Areas with weak health infrastructure – mostly in developing countries – will be the least able to cope without assistance to prepare and respond. This panel seeks to lay emphasis on these pressing issues of climate shocks/change, its overlapping impacts with the uncertainties stemming from disasters and the role of adaptation in addressing the same.
Webinar 1 – 28 April 2020: Advancing the Adaptation Agenda in Times of Uncertainty
Webinar 2 - 29 April 2020: Adaptation with a Human Face
Webinar 3 – 30 April 2020: Climate change and health