Wednesday, June 12, 2024

The Chancellor  Professor Patrick Verkooijen a  delivered a compelling lecture titled "Bridging the Gap: Climate Adaptation for Sustainable Development" at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. He underscored the critical need for climate adaptation strategies to ensure sustainable development in a world grappling with climate change. Verkooijen emphasized that adaptation is not merely a reactive measure, but a proactive solution that fosters resilience, economic growth, and long-term prosperity.

The lecture painted a stark picture of the urgency for climate adaptation. Verkooijen highlighted the devastating consequences of climate change, including extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and food insecurity. He stressed that these impacts are already being felt around the world and will only worsen if we fail to adapt.

Verkooijen identified three key ingredients for effective adaptation: understanding the risks, planning for the future, and financing adaptation efforts. While progress has been made in understanding climate threats and developing plans, a significant gap remains in financing adaptation initiatives.

The lecture showcased successful examples of adaptation strategies. China's National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and the GCA's Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP) were presented as models for building resilience. Verkooijen commended China's leadership in climate adaptation and urged them to champion the cause of adaptation in international dialogues. He also proposed "greening" the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to ensure climate resilience of BRI projects.

Verkooijen emphasized the vital role of young people in shaping a resilient future. He introduced the GCA's youth adaptation network and encouraged students to join the movement and become engines of change. The lecture concluded with a powerful call for a global community to work together on climate adaptation. Verkooijen stressed that by bridging the gap in adaptation efforts, we can build a shared future of harmony, shared prosperity, and common progress.

Read the full Lecture HERE