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CGS professors & researchers take leading roles in the Global Commission on Adaptation

Parts of this post were repurposed from an original blog on the UMD School of Public Policy website.

College Park — December 5, 2018 — Damaging consequences from climate change are being felt stronger than ever, making adaptation and managing of the risks associated with climate change - from floods and droughts to sea level rise and storms - even more important.

This October, leaders from around the world convened to announce the new Global Commission on Adaptation to catalyze a global movement to bring scale and speed to climate adaptation solutions. The Commission will be overseen by former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Bill Gates, and World Bank Group CEO Kristalina Georgieva.

Some of the faces of CGS are serving in leadership roles within the Commission. Professor Anand Patwardhan will be leading the U.S. research and analytical work for the commission and Professor Rosina Bierbaum, the Roy F. Weston Chair of Natural Economics, has been named an advisor. In addition, the School of Public Policy, which houses CGS, will serve as a research partner to the commission.

The Commission, comprised of 17 convening countries, 28 commissioners, 23 research partners, 19 advisors, and the managing partners, will work to catalyze and guide several high-impact action tracks on urgent issue areas such as food security and rural livelihoods, infrastructure, and urban resilience. It will then facilitate a “Year of Action” to implement the recommendations from a flagship report and the action tracks that will be released in September 2019.

“We are experiencing the impacts of a changing climate today, and these impacts are projected to increase. The Global Commission is a much needed effort to catalyze real adaptation action and investment, bringing together the experts and decision-makers we need to chart the right path forward” said Robert C. Orr, dean of the School of Public Policy.

For the next two weeks, global leaders from around the world are converging on Katowice, Poland for the 24th annual Conference of Parties (COP24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and adaptation is a central part of the discussion.

Professor Patwardhan, also a part of the UMD delegation to the COP, remarks, “I am looking forward to engaging on these issues in the coming months and supporting the work of the Global Commission on Adaptation as it seeks to accelerate actions on adaptation.”

The Commission will be hosting a panel discussion on Wednesday, December 12, from 3:30 - 5:00 PM (CET) in Pomorze Climate Action Room 1 called “Accelerating Action and Support for Adaptation”. This event will feature an all-woman panel to focus on what is required to tip the balance in favor of scaled-up adaptation action across the public and private sectors.


Author: Jessica Frech, an MPP candidate within the UMD School of Public Policy and graduate assistant for CGS.