Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 26 January  2021 – UN-Habitat, the Global Center on Adaptation, World Resources Institute and Resilient Cities Network are working together on a new initiative to speed up climate change adaptation in 1000 cities in the coming decade.

The 1000 Cities Adapt Now (1000CAN) was launched during The Climate Adaptation Summit 2021, a virtual meeting hosted by the Netherlands, which brought together global leaders and a wide range  of stakeholders. The 10 year long 1000CAN programme focuses on urban water resilience and nature-based solutions, transformative capacity building in cities and peer to peer learning between cities. It also supports a green, just post-COVID-19 recovery to create new jobs, improve equity and prepare communities to adapt to climate and health threats.

The Mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb presented the Joint Statement on Accelerating Climate Adaptation in Cities outlining the 1000CAN programme  at one of the main events at the Summit, the Global Mayor’s Forum on Climate Change Adaptation.

The Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 was the first global summit of world leaders dedicated to accelerating action for a climate resilient recovery from COVID-19. Following the work of the Global Commission on Adaptation, chaired by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Bill Gates, Co-founder of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, The Summit launched a comprehensive Adaptation Action Agenda.

During the Anchoring Event on Resilient Cities, hosted by the City of Miami, UN-Habitat’s Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif highlighted the need for resilience to start with the most vulnerable. She explained how the  Building Climate Resilience of the Urban Poor initiative, coordinated by UN-Habitat and launched at the Climate Action Summit in 2019, will help the urban poor adapt to climate change in informal settlements. UN-Habitat’s Flagship Initiative Resilient Settlements of the Urban Poor is the key delivery vehicle, mobilizing large scale investments for urban adaptation and resilience-building.

Ms. Sharif stressed the need to accelerate the response to COVID-19 and the climate crisis in an integrated manner, leveraging tools already available and which can support the achievement of a green, fair and resilient recovery.