“RegionsAdapt: Regional governments as key actors in climate change adaptation”
Climate change amplifies and creates new risks for natural and human systems, which are associated with a wide range of impacts already observable, making climate adaptation an increasing need. The Paris Agreement responded to this by establishing the global goal on adaptation in its Article 7. With former international agreements prioritising mitigation over adaptation, this article reflects the great importance given to adaptation for the first time in the history of climate negotiations and “recognize[s] that this challenge is a global challenge faced by all with local, subnational, regional and international dimensions”.
While adaptation strategies are often first adopted at the national level, estimates from the UNDP show that up to 100 percent of the investments for adaptation take place at the subnational level, indicating to the importance of regional governments in this regard. Adaptation plans of regional governments are fundamental to complement national efforts, since these governments are at the forefront of reducing the vulnerability of their territories to climate change. They are strategically well positioned between the national and local levels and are assigned with legal responsibilities and policy tools that are pivotal to this global effort. Regional governments are able to transmit their populations’ needs to the national level, as well as to translate the national strategies and policies to their inhabitants and implement them on the ground. Also, regional governments mean a crucial support to local initiatives, especially to small or isolated human settlements often in rural areas, where such local governments do not have the necessary means in terms of human, technical or budgetary resources and regional governments act in their subsidiary capacity. In that sense, regional governments are responsible for the homogeneous, sustainable and fair development of territories as a whole, and act as guardians to eco-systems and other territorial services provided to medium and large cities. In doing all of this, regional governments implement the policies that directly contribute to national governments’ climate adaptation efforts. In addition, thanks to international cooperation initiatives, like RegionsAdapt, they can foster concrete actions, exchange best practices and report efforts which ultimately favours their ability in delivering adaptation measures.
This side event will provide fruitful discussions and thought dialogue on the importance of regional governments towards efficient and coherent climate change adaptation. Authorities of regional governments, as well as other important stakeholders will discuss adaptation approaches and challenges of regional governments, the importance of including these governments in climate action in international negotiations, as well as successful experiences of international initiatives, like RegionsAdapt.
16:45 – 17:00: Opening Remarks
Ms Sara Kupka, Policy Officer for Climate Change, nrg4SD
17:00 – 18:00: Presentations
- His Excellency Mr. Gamini Thilakasiri, Minister of Agriculture, Agrarian Development, Irrigation, Industries and Environment of Western Province Government (Sri Lanka)
- Ms Sirpa Hertell, Deputy Chair of the Commission for Environment, Energy and Climate Change of the European Committee of the Regions and rapporteur on climate change adaptation (tbc)
- Ms Griet Verstraeten, Policy Advisor Climate Adaptation, Government of Flanders (Belgium)
- Ms Joana Setzer, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at London School of Economics, member of the Board of Advisors to nrg4SD
- Ms Idil Boran, Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy, York University
18:00 – 18:15: Questions & Answers session
This event will be broadcast via YouTube:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ook7rTYfrcs&index=7&list=PL-m2oy1bnLzp5vQEdO1l4WWxwhAJpX7na .You will be able to listen in and view presentations, and pose questions to the panel through the live chat (gmail account is required for this).
To know more, please DOWNLOAD the Bonn Climate Change Conference briefing for nrg4SD members.