Climate Week NYC 2012: Continuing the Adaptation Conversation

Manhattan-Tony Blair

Tony Blair, former United Kingdom Prime Minister, speaks at the Opening Ceremonies of Climate Week NYC 2012.

Climate_Week_NYC_logoThe Global Adaptation Institute (GAIN) will play a role in several events at Climate Week NYC 2012, beginning September 24.  During a week of climate talks with decision makers from around the globe, GAIN will bring the conversation of the urgent need to adapt to save lives and improve livelihoods.

At the Swiss Re Climate Week panel, “Innovating Resilience: Moving from Theory to Practice on Adaptation Solutions”, Dr. Ian Noble, GAIN Chief Scientist, will join other climate scientists to discuss the future of water, food & agriculture, coastal protection and energy resources.

“We see population growth still driving global change and populations shifts accelerating the change even more,” Dr. Noble said. “Urbanization is an enormous factor in any country, but in many developing countries it is the primary factor shaping development. On top of this, we have to cope with a changing climate, which means that for many people the past is no longer a good guide to the future – things are changing.”

Manhattan-Norman Ornstein-American Enterprise InstituteAlso attending Climate Week NYC will be GAIN’s Vice President of Development, Tim Wierzbicki, who will meet with several members of the private sector to discuss global adaptation in a changing world. Private sector investment in technology, infrastructure and innovation to build resilience is essential. The World Bank estimates $30 to $100 billion is needed annually in developing countries to adapt to global challenges, and roughly one percent has so far been allocated by the public sector.

“We are finding adaptation best practices already occurring within the private sector around the world, but it must continue on a greater scale,” Wierzbicki said. “Since GAIN was founded in December 2010, we have seen adaptation grow from no dialogue taking place within the board room to having companies with a dedicated staff for adaptation efforts.”

The needle can only continue to move in the right direction with the private sector leading the way, Wierzbicki said. 

"Climate Week is a opportune environment for progress in this discussion," he said. "We’ve seen the conversation accelerate recently especially with the increase in natural disasters that have occurred in 2012. Adaptation must occur globally – it is not optional."

Visit GAIN.org for updates, including an article next week discussing the challenges faced during 2012 natural disasters.