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Adapting to climate change brings economic benefits, report says

By Li Hongyang | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-09-11 13:44
People in Chengdu city, Sichuan province, stroll in Wangjianglou Park, where there are a variety of trees such as bamboo and pine, as well as bridges and pavilions on the southern bank of Jinjiang River, in mid-August. Liu Guoxing / For China Daily

A report released by an international organization on Tuesday shows that improving adaptation to climate change can produce "significant" economic returns globally.

Specifically, investing $1.8 trillion globally from 2020 to 2030 could generate $7.1 trillion in total net benefits, the report said.

The report, issued by the Global Center on Adaptation, said that investment needs to cover five areas, namely early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure, improving dryland agriculture crop production, global mangrove protection, and making water resources more resilient.

The center said the report is designed to inspire actions among decision-makers, including heads of state and government officials, mayors, business executives, investors, and community leaders.

Patrick Verkooijen, chief executive officer of the center, said that it is not only moral imperative to give voice to the powerless, but it also makes economic sense to invest in adaptation.

China is now actively working toward development of a climate adaptation plan, he added.

"There are examples in China that there are small cities with resilient agriculture and infrastructure. And things like these need to be scaled up and much faster," he said.

Li Ganjie, minister of Ecology and Environment in China, said that China has implemented a national strategy to actively respond to climate change.

"As we try our best to carry out mitigation actions, we have constantly strengthened our adaptation ability, such as issuing national strategies and making them as long-term plan. Infrastructure construction and other projects like forestry, agriculture, marine areas will take climate change into account," he said.

Ban Ki-moon, the eighth Secretary General of the United Nations, also chairman of the center, said that climate change doesn't respect borders. It's an international problem that can only be solved with cooperation and collaboration, across borders and across the world.

"Mitigation and adaptation go hand-in-hand as two equally important building blocks of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Adaptation is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do to boost economic growth and create a climate resilient world," he said.

The Global Center on Adaptation was launched in The Hague of the Netherlands in October 2018 by Ban Ki-moon. Nineteen convening countries are now supporting the center, including China, Canada, the UK and Bangladesh.

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