Challenges & opportunities
Accelerating climate change mitigation and adaptation
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that human activities have caused 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels so far. Global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052, if human-caused climate change continues to increase at the current rate.
As greenhouse gas emissions rise, droughts, floods, heat waves, extreme weather events and sea-level rise are felt worldwide at rates much faster than anticipated. This has a strong impact on many coastal countries, especially the least developed countries and the small islands developing states. More frequent and intense natural disasters are threatening natural ecosystems and expose humanity to water security, food security and health risks.
During the thematic opening session and deep dive sessions, we will explore the challenges and enabling environments to accelerate climate change mitigation and adaptation. We will look into governance, economic measures and financing for the implementation of adaptation options for the achievement of SDGs. Our speakers will share best practices as well as lessons learned.
Thematic opening session
Accelerating climate change adaptation: a human, environmental, and economic imperative
Given the multiple benefits that climate adaptation actions can bring, accelerating climate change adaptation is becoming imperative.
The Adapt Now! report by the Global Commission on Adaptation confirms that the return on investments in improved climate resilience is very high. Global investments worth 1.8 trillion USD could even generate 7.1 trillion USD in total net benefits from 2020 to 2030, making the adoption of climate adaptation strategies a necessity from a purely economic point of view. By enhancing the resilience of society against future risks, climate adaptation strategies will also deliver significant social and environmental benefits next to these economic gains.
During the thematic opening session, a panel of experts and practitioners will discuss how to accelerate and upscale climate adaptation actions. At the same time, they will also review what role technological innovation can play in deploying adaptation measures on a massive scale.
Deep dive sessions
Climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies
Smart water management and governance
Measures to adapt the Earth’s water systems to climate change can be very diverse. Healthy watersheds and the expansion of multipurpose reservoirs, wastewater reclamation, desalination plants and flood infrastructure harness the power of nature to ensure access to safe drinking water. Regulations and incentives combined with technology can help solve water scarcity in urban and rural areas. Ground- and satellite-based monitoring supports planning for floods and droughts, while enhanced stakeholder collaboration is critical to improve water governance.
Sector-oriented climate services
Just like the weather service brings a daily forecast enabling people to plan activities, climate services are to provide agriculture, water, health or other societal sectors with data to assist decision-making processes. Information that forecasts how droughts will evolve over a few months is critical to farmers and water managers. Long-term projections of temperature fluctuations can be decisive for urban planning. Besides reviewing new weather service technologies, we need to evaluate how climate information should be processed depending on the needs of specific sectors.
Innovative climate adaptation approaches
To focus on policy issues related to the development of innovative approaches for climate adaptation technologies, this deep dive will review the activities of the Technology Executive Committee (TEC) as the policy arm of the Technology Mechanism of UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). During this deep dive, TEC will reach out to relevant stakeholders and identify further opportunities for collaboration to strengthen its policy role. TEC will then take conclusions to the SDG Technology Facilitation mechanism and the SDG Forum, held yearly in New York.