Disaster risk reduction was highlighted during the one-day Summit on many occasions. The outcome of the Summit, captured in the Chair’s Summary, emphasized clearly that adaptation must be given higher priority and in this context called for greater synergy with disaster risk reduction.
One of the clear messages given by the world leaders was that the Copenhagen deal must be comprehensive and ensure enhanced action to assist the most vulnerable and the poorest to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Many leaders also underlined that a climate change response should be placed in the broader context of sustainable development. They stressed the need to shift their economies onto low-emissions paths and build climate- resilient societies. A clear recognition was expressed that action on climate change can be consistent with developing country priorities for poverty eradication and sustainable development. Many leaders also expressed their concern for the currently inadequate adaptation efforts. Adaptation actions should create synergies with development priorities including food and water security and disaster risk reduction.
As an integral part of the Climate Change Summit, the Secretary-General hosted a Leadership Forum lunch that brought together representatives of Governments, business, civil society and the United Nations to discuss how to build positive momentum for climate negotiations and how business can be part of the solution. Disaster risk reduction featured among the selected topics that were highlighted during the forum. Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and John Holmes, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, moderated the discussions in these tables. Discussion focused on innovative public-private partnerships, solutions and the benefits of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. The importance of having democratic institutions, sound policies, resilient communities and good insurance mechanisms was also highlighted.