Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 - World Leaders Commitments

The Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 (CAS2021), organised by the Netherlands and hosted by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, saw 24 hours of climate adaptation action. With 300 speakers, 18,000 registrations and 110,000 publications across international media, this summit achieved the traction necessary to kick start this critical year of action for people and planet; addressing the matters of budget, innovation, adaptation and the global goals.

Watch this wrap-up video of the 2021 CAS Summit and find below an outline of the commitments made from the 32 world leaders who took part in the opening session. 


Commitments from the world leaders that we heard throughout the sessions:

  • Prime Minister Rutte reiterated that all Dutch public finance continues to be equally focussed – 50/50 – on mitigation and adaptation.
  • UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for 50 per cent of the total share of climate finance provided by all donors and multilateral development banks to be allocated to adaptation and resilience.
  • The new US Climate Envoy, John Kerry, assured world leaders in his first public appearance on the international stage that the Biden-administration has made international climate action a top priority and will help promote more ambition in adaptation and resilience.
  • Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng called on the international community to redouble their national adaptation efforts and to implement the adaptation commitments made in the Paris Agreement on climate change.
  • IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva announced the IMF is increasing coverage of climate actions in its annual country economic assessments – the Article IV consultations - and will incorporate climate risks in its financial sector assessments. The IMF will also scale up capacity development to support member countries with climate-related skills and announced the launching of a new data initiative to help countries track climate change risks and policies.
  • The World Bank Group committed to maintaining the share of its total climate finance that is earmarked for climate adaptation to at least 50%. World Bank Group president Malpass also announced a $5 billion investment in the Great Green Wall, an initiative to combat the increasing desertification in Africa.
  • The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) announced a new Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP). This flagship program will focus on agriculture, infrastructure, youth and innovative finance. The African Development Bank has committed to mobilize $25 billion as climate finance between 2020 and 2025, of which at least 50% will support climate adaptation and resilience building. AfdB and GCA will use this to leverage an additional $12.5 billion through other key partners.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed that 2 billion euros – one third of France’s climate finance aid – will be allocated for climate adaptation.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel committed a total of 270 million euros extra budget for climate adaptation, in support of vulnerable communities.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson launched the Adaptation Action Coalition, a group of leading nations that will be working with the Race2Relience initiative and the UN Climate Action team towards COP26 later this year. In partnership with Egypt, Bangladesh, Malawi, the Netherlands, Saint Lucia and the UNDP, the Coalition will aim to accelerate efforts to turn political commitment into tangible action on the ground to support those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced to contribute to the launch of the GCA Youth Leadership program focused on building the next generation.
  • Cities are key to accelerating adaptation action globally – by 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. On behalf of global cities and leading cities networks, the 1,000 Cities Adapt Now Program (1000CAN) was announced by Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb of the City of Rotterdam during the opening of CAS. This program will be helping 1000 cities adapt to climate change over the next ten years. The 1000CAN program is a joint effort of the Resilient Cities Network, UN Habitat, Resilient Cities Network, Deltares, Slum Dwellers International and CURE.
  • The call to action from youth leaders in more than 115 countries and the call to action from more than 3,000 scientists, both first published on January 22nd, were presented to the world leaders during the opening session.
  • Over 50 Ministers from different perspectives and regions joined the Ministerial dialogue, stating the importance of adaptation action and their contributions. The dialogue showed commitment for action on the ground and the readiness of this ministerial level to guide the Adaptation Action Agenda towards a climate resilient future.
  • Five Nobel Prize Laureates presented the "Groningen Scientific Declaration" in Groningen and this was signed by 3,000 scientists from over more than 100 countries. The amount that countries worldwide spend on this must increase five to ten times to a maximum of 300 billion dollars. This is stated in the State and Trends in Adaptation report.
  • Young people from more than 115 countries presented a call to action among government leaders on Friday entitled "Adapt for our Future" to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
  • Young people from the Northern Netherlands presented the Regional Action Agenda. In this report, youth ambassadors of Youth for Climate Adaptation - illustrates 7 recommendations to municipalities, provinces and water boards.
  • Nine (inter)national design agencies presented a joint manifesto with 10 principles for successful, climate-proof design solutions. Architects must be involved earlier and more in the process and contribute integrally to solutions. The manifesto was supported by Henk Ovink, Water Envoy of the Netherlands and George Brugmans, director of the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam.