Culture, including arts, heritage and the creative industries, empowers people to imagine and realize a low-carbon, just, climate resilient future.
World’s Temperature Reaches 1.52°C

On February 8th, an EU agency the Copernicus Climate Change Service, announced that in the 12 months to January 31st the world’s temperature had been, on average, 1.52°C, crossing a critical barrier into temperatures never experienced by human civilizations. It was more than 1.5 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels, the level of warming that the countries who signed the Paris climate treaty have agreed to try to stay below.

The COP28 Resilience Hub Synthesis Report authored by Dr Corina Angheloiu with input from Sarah Clarke, Namrata Ginoya, David González, Dr Cibele Queiroz, Shuchi Vora, Managing Partners, Regional and Theme Leads (“Report”) points out that at the heart of the COP28 negotiations was the culmination of the first-ever “Global Stocktake” under the Paris Agreement. And despite positive signals, COP28 outcomes presented a mixed picture for adaptation and resilience.


The report states that more than half of the global GDP is significantly reliant on nature, and there has been a 10% GDP decline due to environmental degradation based on climate change. Furthermore, the 2023 Adaptation Gap Report showed that the updated range for adaptation costs and financing needed is significantly higher than previous estimates.

Improving adaptation finance requires urgent action from multilateral development banks (MDBs) and bilaterals. And that public-private collaboration is a critical component of adaptation and resilience, generating robust returns for private sector actors while implementing innovative solutions to the benefit of wider society.

A lack of funding has been particularly acute in developing countries where communities are already struggling with poverty and inequality, necessitating the pledge of US$700 million to the Loss and Damage Fund, which represents only a small fraction of the irreversible economic and non- economic losses and damages low– and middle–income countries are already facing. 

A new partnership between the Global Resilience Partnership, UNDP and six leading business schools (Yale, IMD Business School, Saïd Business School, EMST Berlin, Cape Town Graduate School of Business, Asia Institute for Management) aims to undertake research, create case studies to improve capital allocated to adaptation finance too.


The Report states that global warming is already affecting the lives and livelihoods of millions of living beings around the world, with the most marginalized and vulnerable communities impacted most severely. Climate-and weather-related disasters, like floods, landslides, storms, droughts, heatwaves, wild fires, the melting artic and cold spells, are becoming more frequent and intense and leading to cascading social, environmental and economic impacts.

New studies support the Reports conclusion. An increase in large wildfires in the US West, along with heat waves and drought, are already yielding a growing "climate penalty" to air quality which has impacts on health. Another study warns in an article that the temperature, sea level and precipitation changes are severely affecting the Atlantic Ocean Current which is verging on collapse, and the climate shifts are unstoppable on human time scales.

Despite these findings, the Report points out that the Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2023 highlights that direct funding to local and national actors as a share of total humanitarian assistance remained at a mere 1.2% (USD 485 million) of overall assistance in 2022, with DRR funding per capita significantly lower in countries affected by more than five years of crisis.


The Report states that extreme weather events, sea level rise, adverse and significant ecosystem changes, pollution, overfishing, rising levels of acidity, increases in the salinity of freshwater and groundwater, decreases in salinity of the oceans all jeopardize the health of the Ocean and the people who depend on it. These systemic changes put at severe risk the social cohesion of coastal communities leading to migration and population displacement, as well as major disruption to trading systems that underpin economies and health.

This conclusion is supported by a first of its kind U.N. report which states that human-caused climate change is altering seasons, lengthening summers, shortening winters and shifting the timing of spring and fall. As a result, more than a fifth of the nearly 1,200 migratory species monitored by the U.N. – whales, sea turtles, apes, songbirds and others – are threatened with extinction.  For example, the melting Arctic ice impacted the orca’s migration patterns who got trapped In the icy waters off the northern coast of the town of Rausu, Japan. A pod of approximately 13 whales and three to four calves faced possible death due to confinement and starvation, as this video from a local wildlife organization shows according to the eyewitnesses who filmed the harrowing footage of Orcas in distress.

To aid the climate change related damages to the Oceans and Coasts the Report states that a new alliance of funders, ORCA (Ocean Resilience and Climate Alliance), has pledged US$250 million Investment to safeguard the Arctic, activate blue carbon positive business models, scale community-led action in the Global South, advance ocean carbon sequestration, accelerate offshore wind, and decarbonize global shipping.


The Report states that culture, including arts, heritage and the creative industries, empowers people to imagine and realize a low-carbon, just, climate resilient future. Cultural heritage, including traditional knowledge, strengthens resilience, helps communities to adapt to climate impacts, protects places and offers green, regenerative solutions. The arts speak to hearts and minds, inspiring action and helping us to understand climate change through storytelling and shared experiences and can play a key role in adaptation planning.

The Future of Power Art Show for Global Resilience Partnership at COP28


The Report concludes that the Resilience Hub will continue to serve as the focal point for the Race to Resilience Campaign and Sharm el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda, collaborating closely with COP Presidencies and the High-Level Champions Team by growing from strength to strength in 2024 carrying them into COP29.  

At COP29, governments must establish a new climate finance goal, reflecting the scale and urgency of the climate crisis. And at COP30, they must come prepared with new nationally determined contributions that are economy-wide, cover all greenhouse gases and are fully aligned with the 1.5°C temperature limit [which has already been reached]. Now is the moment to radically step up our efforts to not only scale up mitigation but also adaptation action to minimize the climate impacts that will inevitably remain. 


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