Reflections and Progress on the 2019 Call to Action on Adaptation and Resilience

Statement delivered by Haoliang Xu at the Adaptation Action Coalition event -The Journey Thus Far and the Road Ahead: Reflections and Progress on the 2019 Call to Action on Adaptation and Resilience

Posted September 30, 2021

On behalf of UNDP, I am honoured to speak at this event hosted by the government of Egypt and the United Kingdom in partnership with the UN High-Level Champions and the Adaptation Action Coalition.

Over two years ago, under the stewardship of the United Nations, the global community came together to issue a ‘Call to Action on Adaptation and Resilience’.

The IPCC 6th assessment report has reminded us that we are in a “code red” situation, which threatens threatens to set back all the progress we have made on the SDGs. 

We urgently need to scale up adaptation and build resilience at the local, national and global scale at a pace that needs to be vastly accelerated from where we are now.

That’s why it is really significant that, today, 130 governments and over 80 organizations have endorsed the Call to Action.

I would like to echo the call made by the Secretary-General, about the urgency to treat adaptation on par with mitigation and to emphasise the importance of boosting adaptation finance significantly as part of the overall global goal on climate finance.

At UNDP, supporting adaptation action is a priority. Our portfolio advances community-based adaptation in more than 100 countries. We are a strong supporter of adaptation action particularly in LDCs, SIDS and in Africa which are showing great leadership in ambition raising around Adaptation. The Africa Adaptation Initiative is a key priority for us to accelerate adaptation for the vulnerable and marginalized populations on the continent.

At present, UNDP is working with 119 countries as they enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement.  Through our Climate Promise initiative, UNDP has helped to propel a significant shift in these NDCs. Countries are translating their high-level priorities on adaptation into more operational national adaptation plans, which take climate risk into consideration in the planning and budgeting processes.

We are encouraged by the progresses we have seen. 

Three-quarters of countries worldwide highlighted adaptation in their first NDCs. Now, over 90 per cent of countries are enhancing adaptation actions in their revised commitments.

We are seeing an increasing number of countries aligning their National Adaptation Plans with their NDCs through programmes like the “Scaling Up Climate Ambition on Land Use and Agriculture” – jointly led by UNDP and FAO – and through the GCF readiness window to help countries cope with climate impacts.

Locally-led adaptation is critical to ensure sustained and far-reaching action. The “Adaptation Innovation Marketplace,” launched by UNDP and partners, is supporting, identifying and accelerating innovative technologies, practices, and business models for local adaptation -- with a focus on NGOs, civil society, women, and young innovators.

But more is needed.

UNDP is delighted to be joining hands with the AAC to elevate adaptation and resilience to the forefront of the agenda for COP 26 and beyond.

We sincerely hope that in these weeks leading up to COP26, all leaders can reflect on progress made, as well as challenges encountered, since the 2019 call to action, to build collective political momentum to deliver greater progress on adaptation. 

Thank you.

At present, UNDP is working with 119 countries as they enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. Through our Climate Promise initiative, UNDP has helped to propel a significant shift in these NDCs. Countries are translating their high-level priorities on adaptation into more operational national adaptation plans, which take climate risk into consideration in the planning and budgeting processes.

Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator