Decisive factors for the selection committee were the location of the cities, their expertise on the impact of climate change, and their innovative office buildings. In February of this year, Dutch Environment Minister Dijksma announced that the knowledge centre, to be set up in collaboration with the United Nations and Japan, will be established in the Netherlands.
Minister Dijksma: ‘With this global climate centre, the Netherlands shows that it commands the knowledge and expertise to tackle the impact of climate change. And it is good news for Rotterdam and Groningen: such an institute will firmly enhance their position on the world map. Global warming is bound to hit increasingly more people hard. Our initiative for this global climate centre will assist countries and organisations that are looking for tangible solutions to adapt to climate change.’
Accessible and innovative
Its location in the Dutch delta has gained Rotterdam an internationally strong reputation in the field of climate adaptation. In addition, the city boasts good international accessibility. It is building a new climate-neutral floating office building for the climate centre staff. In Groningen, the GCECA will be accommodated in the innovative, sustainable Energy Academy Europe office building. With its university and businesses already actively engaged in climate, the city offers a perfect seed-bed for the climate centre.
The evaluation committee that assessed the seven candidates was composed of representatives from the UN Environment Programme, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure & the Environment, and Acclimatise consultants. In February, a working group was assembled to set up the centre. In 2018, the GCECA will eventually expand to twenty staff.
The centre will liaise with a broad-based, worldwide network of partners, among which international knowledge institutes, businesses, interest organisations, local and national governments, and the financial sector. Their aim is to support parties in developing more effective ways of putting climate adaptation into practice. The assembly of knowledge on projects in fields such as infrastructure and agriculture will help to raise the climate change resilience of new roads, buildings, and farmland in vulnerable countries across the globe.
Parties participating in the Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation include the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL), UN Environment, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), S&P Global, Delta Alliance, Deltares, Stockholm Environment Institute, Acclimatise, Netherlands Water Partnership, MCII, World Resources Institute, Wageningen University and Research, UNEP DTU Partnership, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, WRI, GEF, Adaptation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, NDC Partnership, Climate-KIC.