At present, combating climate change is one of the most important challenges facing the global community. At an event co-organized by the Carnegie Moscow Center and the Global Adaptation Institute, Juan Jose Daboub, founding chief executive officer of the Global Adaptation Institute, presented the Global Adaptation Index (GaIn), a tool designed to guide investment decisions to help countries adapt to climate change. Mikhail Yulkin of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) and of the Environmental Investment Center (EIC) along with Oleg Anisimov of the State Hydrological Institute provided comments. Carnegie’s David Burwell gave an introduction and moderated the event.

From Climate Change Mitigation to Climate Change Adaptation

  • About the Global Adaptation Institute: Daboub underlined that mitigation is not enough due to constant and rapid climate changes. Instead, leaders must now focus on climate change adaptation. Because of this need, the Global Adaptation Institute was founded in 2010 with the aim of enhancing the world’s understanding for the need to adapt to climate change.
  • Public and private investments: In the coming years, countries will need massive investments to enhance their capabilities to adapt to climate change; the funds currently provided by national governments and international organizations are not sufficient. The private sector must play a significant role and help fill the investment gap.

The Global Adaptation Index (GaIn)

  • About the Global Adaptation Index: GaIn was created by the Global Adaptation Institute to serve as a tool that will guide investment decisions in order to adapt to climate change. GaIn measures a country’s vulnerability level to the effects of climate change as well as a country’s readiness to implement policies aimed at strengthening resilience to these effects.
  • Russia’s GaIn vulnerability: Daboub explained that at present, Russia is most vulnerable in the areas of food and water. Constraints on the flow of investment capital and the level of corruption in the country are expected to negatively influence Russia’s ability to address adaptation challenges.
  • GaIn’s drawbacks: Anisimov noted that the index’s main disadvantage is that it assesses a country’s ability to respond to the effects of climate change as a whole, but does not differentiate between the country’s different regions. This last option would be most applicable to Russia, given the country’s sizeable area and regional heterogeneity, Anisimov argued.

Anisimov also said that Russia is well aware of the challenges posed by climate change. Finally, Yulkin stressed that the business community needs to adapt to the challenges posed by climate change.