By IPS World Desk
ROME, Feb 23 2017 (IPS)
The Netherlands announced that it will work with Japan and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to establish a Global Centre of Excellence to help countries, institutions and businesses to adapt to a warming climate, which is increasing the frequency of natural disasters and causing economic disruptions.
The Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation aims to bring together international partners, including leading knowledge institutes, businesses, NGOs, local and national governments, international organisations and financial institutions.
On this, the Dutch Minister for the Environment, Sharon Dijksma on February 6 said “Many around the world are hit hard by global warming. The ground-breaking Paris Climate Change Agreement puts climate change adaptation on par with mitigation.”
Failure of dealing adequately with climate change will increase a multitude of risks such as natural disasters, social and economic disruptions and increasing political tensions, Dijksma added.
“Many people are looking for good practices and guidance with regard to climate change adaptation. I am convinced the Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation can help addressing these challenges.”
For his part, Ibrahim Thiaw, UNEP‘s deputy chief, said “Even with the Paris Agreement on climate change, our planet is heading for a global warming of around 3°C.”
“Our survival depends on learning to live on a hotter planet with more extreme weather, erratic rainfall and rising sea levels. This Centre is a welcome step, but other countries need to follow this example and urgently invest in climate adaptation.”
By signing the Paris Climate agreement countries have made climate change adaptation a top global priority and the Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation, a joint initiative of The Netherlands, Japan and UN Environment Programme is an important step to deliver on that commitment.
The Centre will support countries around the world to effectively adapt to climate change. It will collect lessons from recently executed projects and use those to develop guidance to accelerate climate adaptation.
The resulting pool of global knowledge and know-how to understand what works and what doesn’t will be used to support countries, communities and companies to successfully integrate climate adaptation into their investment decisions.
Italy Further Contributes to UN Environment Fund
Meanwhile, Italy’s Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti and Erik Solheim, UNEP Executive Secretary, this month signed a new agreement to intensify collaboration on pressing environmental issues, such as clean energy and environmental education.
On the occasion, the Italian government also made a significant, 5 million euro contribution to the Environment Fund.
The money will help UNEP implement crucial projects to design a sustainable financial system, boost resource efficiency and reinforce the sustainable management of natural resources and the marine economy.
“This generous contribution is yet another signal of Italy’s unwavering commitment to a clean, safe and healthy planet. We look forward to working with the Italian government to build the green future we all deserve,” said Solheim on February 6.
This new donation brings Italy’s total contributions to the Fund to over 10.5 million, euro or 11.2 million dollars since 2014.
Italy’s environmental priorities also include the transition to a green economy, clean energy and environmental education. The country is also expected to play an active role at the third UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, in December, where the world’s environment ministers will tackle the pressing challenge of pollution worldwide.
The UN Environment Fund depends on voluntary national contributions and is the main source of money for UN Environment to follow its programme of work in tackling trans-boundary challenges on topics ranging from climate change to the sustainable management of chemicals and flagging new environmental threats.
Italy is also a major donor to other project work for the environment through sources such as the Global Environment Facility.