During the fifth stage of our trip we have crossed Mosa river to get to the Netherlands, reaching Urmond (Limburg region) for the night. The Netherlands has a large part of its territory (24%) under the sea-level, and without water barriers, 70% is vulnerable to floods from the sea or rivers. Densely populated cities like Rotterdam have more than 80% of their territory under the sea-level. This makes The Netherlands highly vulnerable to climate change impacts like rising sea-level and increased storms, which increase the risk of floods.

For the Dutch inaction is not an option and for years they have been taking adaptation to climate change very seriously, by adopting innovative and ambitious measures, becoming a world reference in this matter. Adaptation is inevitable. The cost of adopting measures towards adaptation is lower than the cost of inaction. And furthermore it can turn into an economic opportunity.

Being in The Netherlands we wanted to highlight the need to put adaptation at the same level as mitigation in the climate agenda. Climate change impacts are already a reality and all countries must take climate resiliency seriously.

In this sense, adaptation will have a central role in the next Climate Summit, COP23, chaired by Fiji, where financing adaptation measures for the most vulnerable nations are, among others, a priority topic. According to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change developing countries need dozens billion dollars a year to respond to current and future climate impacts. Financing is key as climate change has the power to revert many of the achievements attained in economic and social development.

Our voices

“Climate change is here and we have to adapt to it. The earlier we do it the cheaper and better will be” Gonzalo Saénz de Miera. Iberdrola.
  “All actors and sectors should already consider the fight against climate change in their strategies, projects and actions, both the adaptation measures needed to face the impacts of climate change and the options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” Ana Pintó. OECC.
 The direct impact of drought and floods on childhood is not evident at first sight, but 175 millions of children in the world could be affected by climate change in the next decade. Tiziana Trotta. Planeta Futuro

More information and quotes

The European Environment Agency reveals that weather and climate events caused losses above 450 billion euros in the 33 member countries of the European Economic Area during 1980-2016 and alerts about the need to prepare better to climate change consequences.
According to UNFCCC developing countries need dozens billion dollars per year to respond to present and future climate change impacts.

More images