Investing in climate adaptation can spur trillions in benefits: report

The report said that climate adaptation delivers a “triple dividend” by avoiding future losses. (File/AFP)
Updated 10 September 2019

Investing in climate adaptation can spur trillions in benefits: report

  • The commission urges governments to invest more in climate adaptation because it is not happening at the pace and scale required
  • The report was written by the Global Commission on Adaptation

WASHINGTON: Investing $1.8 trillion between 2020 and 2030 in projects to help communities adapt to the worsening impacts of climate change could yield $7.1 trillion in economic benefits, according to a report released on Tuesday by a high-level international commission.
The report was written by the Global Commission on Adaptation — a group of political and business leaders led by former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva, which was tasked with “raising the visibility of climate adaptation on the global agenda” ahead of the upcoming UN Climate Action Summit in New York on Sept. 23.
The commission urges governments to invest more in climate adaptation because it is not happening at the pace and scale required to address the worsening impacts of climate change and said the return on investments in building up climate resilience can range from 2:1 to 10:1.
“Adaptation is not only the right thing to do, it is also the smart thing to do to boost economic growth and create a climate resilient world,” Ban said in a statement.
The report highlights five areas where investment is needed most urgently — early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure and water resources, dryland agriculture and mangrove protection.
Gates, who chairs the international development-focused Gates Foundation with his wife Melinda, said millions of smallholder farmers and their families in developing countries are among the most vulnerable to extreme changes in temperature and rainfall which lowers their crop yields.
“With greater support for innovation, we can unlock new opportunities and spur change across the global ecosystem,” he said.
The report said that climate adaptation delivers a “triple dividend” by avoiding future losses, spurring innovation and delivering social and environmental benefits.


Solid gold toilet stolen from English stately home

Updated 14 September 2019

Solid gold toilet stolen from English stately home

  • Toilet was created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and estimated to be worth around £1 million
  • A 66-year-old man was arrested following the burglary at Blenheim Palace

LONDON: A gang of thieves on Saturday stole an 18-carat gold toilet from Britain’s Blenheim Palace, police said, causing flooding that damaged the world-famous stately home.
The fully-functioning toilet, dubbed “America,” was created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and estimated to be worth around £1 million.
A 66-year-old man was arrested following the burglary, which took place before dawn at the 18th-century estate near Oxford, southern England.
The toilet was one of the star attractions in an exhibition of Cattelan’s works that opened on Thursday at the palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visitors were able to book time slots to use it — but only for three minutes each, to limit the queues.
More than 100,000 people used the loo during the year it was on display at New York’s Guggenheim Museum.
“The offenders broke into the palace overnight and left the scene at about 4.50am (0350 GMT). No-one was injured during the burglary,” police said in a statement.
Detective Inspector Jess Milne of Thames Valley Police said she believed “a group of offenders used at least two vehicles” — and left a mess behind them.
“The piece of art that has been stolen is a high-value toilet made out of gold that was on display at the palace,” she said.
“Due to the toilet being plumbed into the building, this has caused significant damage and flooding.”
Blenheim Palace said it was “saddened by this extraordinary event, but also relieved no-one was hurt.”
It closed on Saturday but said it would reopen on Sunday.

The palace is home to the 12th duke of Marlborough and his family, and was also the birthplace of British wartime leader Winston Churchill.
The duke’s brother, Edward Spencer-Churchill, who founded the Blenheim Art Foundation, said last month he was relaxed about security around the gold toilet.
“It’s not going to be the easiest thing to nick,” he told The Times newspaper.
“Firstly, it’s plumbed in and secondly, a potential thief will have no idea who last used the toilet or what they ate. So no, I don’t plan to be guarding it.”
He added: “Despite being born with a silver spoon in my mouth I have never had a shit on a golden toilet, so I look forward to it.”
Cattelan, who is known for his provocative art, has previously described the golden toilet as “one-percent art for the 99 percent.”
The Guggenheim had offered the loo on loan to US President Donald Trump, but he declined.
The Italian artist’s exhibition at Blenheim runs until October 27 and includes a taxidermied horse hoisted onto the ceiling of an ornate reception room.
Blenheim has previously hosted exhibitions of work by Ai WeiWei, Yves Klein, Jenny Holzer, Michelangelo Pistoletto and Lawrence Weiner.
Police said they were looking at CCTV footage to help them in the search for the gold toilet, adding that nothing else was believed to have been stolen.