Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity, with far-reaching and devastating impacts on people, the environment, and the economy. Climate impacts affect all regions
of the world and cut across all sectors of society. People who did the least to cause the problem—especially those living in poverty and fragile areas—are most at risk.
• Without adaptation, climate change may depress growth in global agriculture yields up to 30 percent by 2050. The 500 million small farms around the world will be most affected.
• The number of people who may lack sufficient water, at least one month per year, will soar from 3.6 billion today to more than 5 billion by 2050.
• Rising seas and greater storm surges could force hundreds of millions of people in coastal cities from their homes, with a total cost to coastal urban areas of more than $1 trillion each year by 2050.
• Climate change could push more than 100 million people within developing countries below the poverty line by 2030.
The costs of climate change on people and the economy are clear. The toll on human life is irrefutable. The question is how will the world respond: Will we delay and pay more or plan ahead and prosper?
THE GLOBAL COMMISSION ON ADAPTATION
The Global Commission on Adaptation seeks to accelerate adaptation by elevating the political visibility of adaptation and focusing on concrete solutions. The Commission is led by Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, Bill Gates, Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Kristalina Georgieva, CEO, World Bank. It is guided by 34 Commissioners, consisting of leaders from political, business, multilateral, and scientific worlds; and it is convened by 20 countries. A global network of research partners and advisors support the Commission. The Commission is co-managed by World Resources Institute and the Global Center on Adaptation.
ABOUT THIS REPORT
This report focuses on making the case for climate adaptation, providing specific insights and recommendations in key sectors: food security, the natural environment, water, cities and urban areas, infrastructure, disaster risk management, and finance. It is designed to inspire action among decision-makers, including heads of state and government officials, mayors, business executives, investors, and community leaders.