This Group of 78 report underlines the urgency of building resilience against catastrophic climate change, tragically demonstrated by the devastating heat, fires and flooding in British Columbia last year. Communities and households around the world must build their defences against such extreme weather events which are likely to increase in intensity and frequency in the decades ahead.
The report emanates from the Group of 78’s 2021 annual policy conference, which brought together experts on infrastructure, health, food and agriculture, municipal planning, and finance. They discussed how communities and households could bolster their adaptation to a world in which temperatures in some regions could rise considerably more than 3 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Such actions must be taken alongside measures to mitigate, or slow down, rising temperatures. However, the reality is that both in Canada and most of the world, adaptation has been critically neglected in contrast to mitigation.
The Group of 78’s conference held in late September anticipated discussions that were held at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow in November, when a number of issues were flagged indicating that substantial resources are needed to strengthen adaptation around the world, particularly in the poorest countries and those most vulnerable to climate change.
The conference’s panel on infrastructure, conveying the sense of urgency, recommended that “the federal government should accelerate the development of a national climate change adaptation plan to be announced publicly in early 2022. It should seek to engage all levels of government (municipal, provincial and federal)”.
The Group of 78 (G78) is a non-governmental organization, founded in 1981, dedicated to the promotion of a progressive foreign policy based on principles of sustainable peace, justice, and global survival in the face of contemporary challenges. Its report, ADAPTATION: BUILDING RESILIENCE IN THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY, published today, is the outcome of our virtual policy conference held Sept 23- October 5th, 2021