Development Cooperation

Accelerating Adaptation in the Decade of Action for SDGs Scaling up Planning and Mobilizing Finance for Adaptation Actions

14/06/2021 - 19:37

Climate Adaptation illustration


Concept note

Accelerating Adaptation in the Decade of Action for SDGs

Scaling up Planning and Mobilizing Finance for Adaptation Actions


17 June 2021

1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The Delegation of the European Union (EU), the Permanent Missions of Antigua and Barbuda,  Mozambique  and Portugal, and the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) have the pleasure to invite you to an event on Stepping up Adaptation to Climate Change in the Decade of Action. The meeting will be held in a virtual format – please RSVP here.


While mitigation efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 are critical, halting all greenhouse gas emissions would still not prevent the climate impacts that are linked to past and current emissions. Extreme weather events are becoming increasingly frequent and intense: forest fires, heatwaves, droughts, hurricanes affect more and more lives and livelihoods and cause ample economic losses and disruptions.


Slow onset events, such as desertification, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, land and ecosystem degradation, ocean acidification or sea level rise are equally destructive over the medium and long term and we are coming dangerously close to cascading tipping points. We need to step up adaptation, increase our levels of preparedness and protect communities from the adverse effects of climate change, especially in the most vulnerable countries, such as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).


Adaptation is a global goal of the Paris Agreement on a par with mitigation. As a proactive approach, it cannot only avoid future losses, but contribute to accelerating progress on many SDGs and help address the climate and the biodiversity crisis jointly, delivering multiple benefits for people and planet. In the words of UNSG Guterres: “Adaptation must not be the forgotten component of climate action”.


The European Commission put forward a new EU strategy on adaptation to climate change on 24 February 2021. The Strategy has four main objectives: to make adaptation smarter, swifter, more systemic, and to step up international action on adaptation to climate change. Adaptation is also among the priorities of the Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council.


Adaptation needs and capacities vary widely across countries and regions. In many countries, in particular the most vulnerable to climate change, the last years have shown a number of challenges regarding adaptation measures. These include

  • the need for more inclusive and integrated adaptation planning that helps identify the priorities and promotes more effective adaptation actions, aiming at synergies between action taken for the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction,  the UN conventions on biodiversity and desertification and land degradation, and the 2030 Agenda more broadly;
  • the mobilization of public and private finance for adaptation measures, such as nature-based solutions.  The Global Commission on Adaptation found that every USD invested in five key adaptation areas could yield almost 4 USD in total net benefits. There is a good business case for adaptation finance, and it is important to understand how to scale up both public and private resources devoted to adaptation actions, in particular through innovative mechanisms.


The objective of the event is to identify pathways to address some of these challenges around adaptation, building on good practices and lessons learnt with a particular focus on adaptation around the water and coastal / marine sector. It will bring together relevant stakeholders from governments, the UN system, the financial and the private sector for discussion.




Moderator:  Adriana Dinu, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP


(12 mins – 4 times 3) Opening remarks:


Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations and Chair of AOSIS, Dr. Walton A. Webson


Permanent Representative of Mozambique to the United Nations, Mr. Pedro Comissário Afonso


Permanent Representative of Portugal to the United Nations, Mr. Francisco Duarte Lopes


(5 mins) Presentation of the EU adaptation strategy


Elina Bardram, Acting Director, International, Mainstreaming & Policy Coordination, DG CLIMA, European Commission


(40 mins) Panel discussion


Jessica Troni, Head Climate Change Adaptation Unit, Ecosystems Division, UNEP

Gareth Phillips, Manager, Climate and Environment Finance, African Development Bank Group

Courtnae Bailey, Technical Advisor, Department of Environment, Antigua and Barbuda

Cláudio de Jesus, Chairman, Águas de Portugal Internacional

Jay Koh, Managing Director, The Lightsmith Group, Founder & Chair of the Global Adaptation & Resilience Investment Working Group (GARI)


(25 mins) Discussion    

(8 mins) Closing remarks:

UNSG Special Adviser and Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Action, ASG Selwin Hart

Head of Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, Mr. Olof Skoog



New York
United States of America