Getting the World Ready to Adapt to Climate Change

Nature of Business Radio

Getting the World Ready to Adapt to Climate Change

Nature of Business radio, created and hosted by Chrissy Coughlin, is a weekly show on business and environment.

I admit that I get a little giddy when I hear about organizations like the Global Adaptation Institute that really get it. The brainchild of Dr. Juan Jose Daboub, they opened their doors roughly a year and a half ago, based on Dr. Daboub's assessment that urgent action must be taken on a global level with regard to climate change adaptation.

As CEO, Dr. Daboub and his impressive team of global leaders from both the private and public sector, prominent climate scientists, and support staff span the globe to enhance the understanding of the world's pressing need for adaptation to climate change and to help developing economies adapt to the changing world.

We discuss their initiatives, in particular, their Global Adaptation Index (GaIn), geographic focus, startling statistics, and ways they are assisting countries in taking immediate and pragmatic action. And with the COP17 climate talks in full swing in Durban, South Africa, the conversation couldn't be more timely.

DaboubI feel pretty confident that Dr. Daboub knows what he's doing here. He has spent the better part of his career meeting leaders, determining appropriate public policy initiatives, and striving to intersect the public and private sector. He has worked as Managing Director at the World Bank, where he oversaw operations in 110 countries in Africa, the Middle East, East Asia and Latin America, and also held concurrent positions as El Salvador's Minister of Finance and Chief of Staff to the President.

As he explains, "There is not going to be a global agreement on mitigation in the near future, yet people are already feeling the effects of urbanization, population growth, economic development and the effects of climate change. Many of the political leaders are not thinking about the next generation but about the next election. The climate is changing and those changes are affecting hundreds of millions of people right now -- taking action on climate adaption is really urgent and our approach is to bring together everybody who agrees on that one key thing -- the urgency of adaption action. Our mission is to focus on move quickly with concrete action and stay out of politics."

Particularly exciting is the September 14th rollout of their Global Adaptation Index -- a data-driven approach that, on the one hand, summarizes a country's vulnerability to climate change and other global challenges and, on the other hand, the country's readiness. A matrix to compare countries based on 38 indicators, it aims to help businesses and the public sector better prioritize investments for a more efficient response to the immediate global challenges ahead.

One thing is for sure. Climate change is hardly debatable anymore. Mitigation is clearly essential but there is no reason why the world can't be proactive while we figure this all out and save lives in the process. I can certainly adapt to that.

George Papoulias edited this podcast.



Earth from space photo via Shutterstock.