UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed the former Secretary of State for International Development, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, as the UK’s International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency.
With one year to go until COP26 is held in Glasgow, the role of the Champion will be to drive forward global ambition and action to support countries on the front line of climate change to adapt to its impacts and build resilience.
Developing countries are particularly vulnerable to climate change and are less able to prepare for and respond to the impacts of rising global temperatures, such as extreme weather events like floods, drought and wildfires and slow onset crises like rising sea levels and desertification. Without action, the World Bank predicts climate change could push more than 100 million people in developing countries below the poverty line by 2030.
However, with support, countries and communities can adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Measures like early warning systems for storms, investing in flood drainage and drought resistant crops are extremely cost-effective, saving not just money, but lives and livelihoods. In Bangladesh, for example, with the support of the UK and others on disaster risk reduction the mortality rate from cyclones has been cut more than 100-fold – from 500,000 deaths in 1970 to 4,234 in 2007.
In her role as Adaptation and Resilience Champion, Anne-Marie Trevelyan will engage the governments of the countries most affected by climate change and drive support from the international community and private sector.
The UK is stepping up global leadership in tackling climate change with one year to go until COP26, the UN climate change conference, and ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit on December 12 2020. The Climate Ambition Summit is hosted by the UK, UN and France, alongside partners Italy and Chile, to mark the fifth anniversary of the landmark Paris Agreement and will be an opportunity for world leaders to make ambitious climate commitments.
Building international momentum to support countries and communities already impacted by climate change and future proofing growth and development is crucial to delivering our shared climate goals at COP26 and beyond.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “Climate change is already affecting people all over the world and COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of investing in resilience, now more than ever.
“The Prime Minister’s appointment of Anne-Marie Trevelyan as Adaptation and Resilience Champion will boost our ability to deliver our commitment to support those most vulnerable to climate change.”
COP26 President Alok Sharma said: “I warmly welcome Anne-Marie Trevelyan to the role of Adaptation and Resilience Champion as we mark the crucial milestone of a year to go until COP26.
“Her wealth of insight into international development will be invaluable in putting adaptation and resilience at the heart of our efforts to create a fairer, greener and more resilient global economy.”
The UK’s International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:
“I am delighted to have been appointed Adaptation and Resilience Champion. It is vital the UK’s COP Presidency shows the world we are listening to the voices of those most impacted by climate change and that we will lead global action to address their concerns, from loss and damage, to access to finance.
“I look forward to working with our partners across the globe to represent and drive our high ambitions on the adaptation and resilience agenda.”
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency and UK Commissioner to the Global Commission on Adaptation said:
“The effects of climate change, such as droughts and floods, are impacting vulnerable communities across the world. As UK Commissioner to the Global Commission on Adaptation, we have been calling on the international community to do more to help people build resilience and adapt to the changing climate. I am delighted Anne-Marie has been appointed to raise global ambition at COP26.”