Rio de Janeiro and Catalonia launch first global initiative on climate adaptation at the regional level

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3 December 2015

PARIS: The government of Rio de Janeiro, in collaboration with the government of Catalonia, announced today the launch of the RegionsAdapt initiative. This is the first joint effort from sub-national governments to improve the effectiveness in adapting to climate change.

The launch and signing ceremony took place at La Maison de L’Europe, in Paris, alongside with the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21). Founding signatories: South Australia, Quebec, Lombardia, Wales, Sud Comoe, La Reunion, Fatick, Gossas, Western Province, British Columbia, California, Tombouctou, São Paulo, Jalisco and Basque Country.

The initiative, which has the support of the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (nrg4SD) and The Climate Group States & Regions Alliance, emerges from the urgency to ensure concrete results of adaptation actions. Its launch during COP21 calls attention to the importance of international support and collaboration for regional action on adaptation.

André Correa, Secretary for the Environment of Rio de Janeiro State Government, said: “Subnational governments play a fundamental role to enhance coordination and cooperation across all levels of governments, to boost policy coherence, and to ensure effective outcomes”.

Santiago Vila I Vicente, Minister for Territory and Sustainability of the Government of Catalonia, said: “by sharing efforts, regional governments can help each other managing and reducing risks, as well as avoiding significant economic losses”.

By signing the initiative, state and regional governments commit to:

  • Adopt a strategic approach to adaptation and prioritize adaptation actions, e.g., through adopting or reviewing a regional plan or strategy on climate change adaptation within two years of joining the initiative;
  • Take concrete action on adaptation in at least one of the key priority areas identified by the regions;
  • Report data on the progress of the adaptation actions on an annual basis through the Compact of States and Regions reporting platform.

“There was a real gap of initiatives promoting the adoption of subnational adaptation measures. RegionsAdapt will hopefully address this gap, stimulating the adoption of new plans and actions, and also providing states and regions with a cooperative framework for the exchange experiences and best practices.” said, Joana Setzer, nrg4SD external affairs coordinator.

Libby Ferguson, States & Regions Director at The Climate Group, said: “Adaptation and resilience is a vital element of any comprehensive climate change strategy. The Climate Group has been working for 10 years to promote innovative climate policy solutions by states and regions. This new initiative demonstrates the continued drive by state and regional governments to deliver a collective and comprehensive response to this global challenge.”

RegionsAdapt welcomes all state and regional governments from around the world to join the initiative.

More information can be found on nrg4SD and The Climate Group websites.




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