To spur action, a coalition led by billionaire Bill Gates, former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva on Tuesday launched the Global Commission on Adaptation to lessen the damage.
“Without urgent adaptation and action, we risk undermining food, energy, and water security for decades to come,” Ki-moon said in a briefing. “Adaptation action is not only the right action to do, it is the smart thing. The costs of adapting are less than the cost of doing business as usual.”
The new group, on a two-year mission, intends to bolster funding and search for sensible solutions as practical as Bangladesh’s trading chickens for ducks. The commission has recruited 28 commissioners and political leaders from 17 nations, including Germany, Canada, Mexico, China, India, and Britain. (The United States is not part of the group.) Additionally, 25 leaders from around the world, including China’s environment minister, Germany’s economic development minister, and the mayors of Paris and Miami, also signed on to the group.
This year, on track to become the fourth hottest on record, would seem to make the case for adaptation, as a string of climate-related disasters has played out all over the world. Wildfires spread through drought-stricken California, Sweden, Portugal, and Greece. Heatwaves killed hundreds of people from Japan to Britain. Back-to-back hurricanes in the southeastern United States killed more than 35 people, while one of the most powerful Pacific storms of the year, Typhoon Mangkhut, hit Guam, the Philippines, Hong Kong and southern China.