Bill Gates, Ban Ki-moon, World Bank chief to head up Dutch climate initiative

Demonstrators for climate change in Amsterdam in 2015. Photo:
Demonstrators for climate change in Amsterdam

Former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon, businessman and philanthropist Bill Gates and World Bank chief executive Kristalina Georgieva will head an international commission on climate change to launch next month, the Dutch government said on Monday.

The Global Commission on Adaptation is a new international climate commission initiated by the Netherlands aimed at convincing countries worldwide to arm themselves against the effects of climate change.

The commission will be housed in the Global Climate Adaptation Centre which has a base in both Groningen and Rotterdam. Georgieva will oversee the Rotterdam-based commission.

‘Climate change is not something that will take place in some far away future,’ said infrastructure minister Cora van Nieuwhuizen who sunk the first pile in the construction of the new floating office of the GCA in Rotterdam’s Rijnhaven.

‘We are right in the middle of it. Large parts of Europe have been combating drought. With the commission we want to drive home the necessity of climate adaptation worldwide. I am very honoured that Georgieva, Ban Ki-Moon and Gates were prepared to lead this important commission.’

Ban Ki-Moon called the Dutch initiative ‘a critical step forward to set in motion more vigorous attention to and action around climate adaptation’ and said he looked forward to ‘worldwide mission to accelerate adaptation’.

Ban Ki-Moon, Gates and Georgieva are coming to the Netherlands on October 16 to launch the new commission. Van Nieuwenhuizen will be one of the 20 commission members.

In September 2019 the commission is expected to present an action programme which will show countries which short-term measures they can take to protect vulnerable areas from the effects of a changing climate.

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