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All eyes on COP26 and climate mitigation, but what about climate adaptation?

Big pledges for ending deforestation, pledges to phase out coal and interesting deals on methane (which causes a lot more warming per tonne that is emitted than CO2). These are but a few commitments drafted by national governments from across the world to mitigate climate change – strategies that help make the climate change less severe.

However, did you know that adaptation tactics – actions that help protect from current and future destructive effects of climate change – do not get nearly enough attention as they should?

With all eyes on COP26 today in its last day, I wanted to capture what I have seen in the Green Zone of the conference in Glasgow – the pavillion that has been open to the public to observe how companies and sub-national governments are tackling mitigation AND adaptation strategies.

This is where the particular push for adaptation was intertwined through all the panels in the past 2 weeks.

And climate action requires both mitigation and adaptation to succeed in the near future. Currently, only 9% of all financing is directed at adaptation. Cities face so many challenges for example: about 570 low lying cities and 800m city dwellers will be affected by 2050, highlighted Dr. Heike Hennn, director for climate policy, energy and urban development at BMZ. Another challenge is that 1.6 billion people will suffer from extreme heat and its harmful consequences in mega cities. Many residents are unprepared for climate change, so cities are key for transitioning to a better and more sustainable world.

As impact investors, sustainable finance institution, and even pension funds: our role now is to help bridge the current investment gap of 1 trillion for urban development, climate friendly infrastructure as well as other adaptation need to help prepare for current and future climate challenges.