Swallowing an alarm clock: DNV GL at Adaptation Futures 2016

Rotterdam: DNV GL is attending the world’s biggest climate adaptation conference, co-hosted by the Government of The Netherlands, the European Commission and PROVIA.
David Walker on the panel at Adaptation Futures 2016 in Rotterdam
DNV GL’s Chief Development Officer, David Walker (right) participating in a Business for Adaptation discussion at Adaptation Futures 2016.

At the 3-day conference (10th – 13th May), business, scholars, policy makers and practitioners are sharing the latest climate adaptation practices and solutions. DNV GL is active in several of these sessions.

In her opening address to the conference, Christiana Figueres, Secretary of the UNFCCC said “I have written to the science community telling them to swallow an alarm clock. We are going to make a difference in the next 5 years; we are going to change radically what we are doing.”

This sense of urgency is starting to be felt in the business community. DNV GL’s Chief Development Officer, David Walker, participated in a Business for Adaptation roundtable with several leading multinational companies. It emerged that the focus needs to fall on both mitigation efforts and adaptation measures, as emphasised at COP21 in Paris. Walker stressed the critical need for international standards, codes and best practices to be adapted to climate change.  He was also vocal on the link between research and practice, saying “There are various ways to bring science and business together, such as the EU Horizon 2020 projects.  Business needs to get access to the best minds, and we need solutions sooner rather than later”. 

It was with this in mind that DNV GL hosted a pre-conference event which was also attended by Henrik O. Madsen, Chairman of the Norwegian Research Council and former CEO of DNV GL, to bring together different stakeholders around the topic of Partnerships for Climate Solutions.

“Companies must future-proof their operations; not only considering immediate assets, but also taking into account the resilience of supply chains and the societies in which they operate”, says Bente Pretlove, Director of DNV GL’s Climate Change Research Programme. The business case for adaptation to climate change is clearer than ever, and resilience to the impacts of climate change will become an important measure of competitiveness. The business case is related to both the need to manage risk and the ability of business to innovate and seek new opportunities. 

The conference saw substantive participation of DNVGL research staff in the science sessions focusing on Adaptation as an Innovation and Business Opportunity, decision making support tools, and the emergence of Standards. Adaptation to climate change is now moving from planning to implementation. There is an urgent need for standards and recommended practices to support adaptation action. "Standards can promote coherence and they also facilitate sharing of best practices and enable knowledge transfer", says Asun Lera St. Clair, Senior Principal Scientist at DNV GL Climate programme.  

About DNV GL’s Climate Change Programme

The Climate Change Programme in Strategic Research & Innovation focuses on the development of climate-related tools, products, information and recommended practices that address risk-based decision making for resilience, adaptation and disaster management, and the transition to low-carbon energy.  This cross-disciplinary research group takes a holistic approach combining the social sciences with deep technical expertise in projects. The programme works closely with the DNV GL Business Areas to ensure that the research efforts meet identified customer needs in addressing climate risks.