World leaders call for immediate action on adaptation

Report Establishes Structural And Financial Mechanisms To Help Those Already Impacted By Global Warming

Bonn, Germany

June 8, 2009


Megan Rabbitt

A task force of former heads of state and government and business and civil society leaders from more than 20 countries today released “Facilitating an International Agreement on Climate Change: Adaptation to Climate Change.”  The report, issued by Global Leadership for Climate Action (GLCA), a partnership of the United Nations Foundation (UNF) and the Club of Madrid, sets forth innovative recommendations to enable, finance, and govern global adaptation measures.  The report was distributed today to the more than 180 country representatives participating in the UN-led climate negotiations under way in Bonn, Germany.

“Vulnerable populations who are already experiencing impacts from climate change upon their natural resources and livelihoods need the tools and financial resources to adapt,” said Ricardo Lagos, president of the Club of Madrid, a UN Special Envoy for Climate Change, and former president of Chile.  “Without assistance, developing countries will find it harder to improve their economic conditions and make progress toward poverty alleviation.”

“It is a sad fact that those least responsible for global warming are the ones who will suffer the most,” said Timothy E. Wirth, president of the United Nations Foundation and former U.S. Undersecretary of State.  “The countries whose economic development put most of the carbon into the atmosphere have a moral obligation to step up and assist those who are living with the consequences.”

The recommendations urge the international community to:

·  Immediately fund implementation of National Adaptation Programmes of Action from least developed countries and small island states that are most threatened by and are already experiencing negative climate impacts;

·  Provide financial assistance to developing countries whose public health infrastructure is already fragile and faces more strain as climate impacts intensify;

·  Launch a major initiative to reduce deforestation and support accounting mechanisms that give economic value to threatened ecosystems;

·  Create regional centers to develop and distribute new crop strains which are resistant to heat, drought and salt water encroachment;

·  Direct UN agencies to better coordinate their actions and “deliver as one” at the country level;

·  Establish a UN high-level task force to outline a new vision for sustainable development in a low-carbon world.

The report can be found on GLCA’s web site at  For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact John Anthony at +1.202.778.1639, or Victor Arango at +34.626.209.330.


Global Leadership for Climate Action (GLCA) is a task force of world leaders from more than 20 countries who are committed to addressing climate change by reaching a new international climate treaty.  In 2007 GLCA released a comprehensive framework of recommendations to reach a global climate change agreement, much of which was incorporated into the “Bali Action Plan.”  The complete list of GLCA members can be found on

About the United Nations Foundation
The UN Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The UN Foundation is an advocate for the UN and a platform for connecting people, ideas, and resources to help the United Nations solve global problems.  It builds partnerships, grow constituencies, mobilize resources and advocate policy changes to support the UN’s work for individual and global progress.  The UN Foundation’s work is focused on decreasing child mortality, improving disaster relief, protecting diverse cultures and environments, creating a clean energy future, empowering women and girls, and improving U.S.-UN relations. For more information, visit

About the Club of Madrid
The Club of Madrid constitutes the world’s largest forum of democratic former Heads of State and Government offering today’s leaders an unequalled body of knowledge and political experience aimed at strengthening democratic values and democratic leadership around the world. In partnership with other organizations and governments that share its values and objectives, the Club of Madrid addresses issues of global concern where the voice of its members can contribute to advancing action in the international agenda. These include: Energy and Democratic Leadership and prominently within this, the objective of an effective, efficient and equitable post-2012 Climate Agreement; the Political Consequences of the Economic Crisis; Social Cohesion and Shared Societies, and; Democratic Responses to Terrorism. The Club of Madrid also provides peer-to-peer counsel, strategic support and technical advice to leaders and institutions working towards democratic transition and consolidation.