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Groningen puts climate adaptation on the worldwide map in January

Over 70 (inter)national speakers from more than 20 countries share their ideas on climate adaptation in Groningen
16 December 2020

It’s probably the biggest challenge of the 21st century: the climate crisis. Consequences of flooding due to heavy rainfall, heatwaves, and draughts have an increasing impact on our daily lives. How we can adapt to these consequences is the main subject of the Climate Adaptation Week Groningen (The Netherlands) from Tuesday 19 until Monday 25 January 2021. It is the run-up festival to the Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS) on 25 January 2021, where world leaders will unite online to talk about concrete global actions concerning climate adaptation. Groningen is providing substantive content to that summit from youth, Nobel Prize Laureates and IPCC members. UG is proud partner of the Climate Adaptation Summit.

Over 70 national and international speakers from more than 20 countries in the world will discuss the current and future status of climate adaptation. This all happens at the free interactive (online) festival in Groningen. The program of the Climate Adaptation Week Groningen is packed with fun, innovative, inspiring and in depth elements. From the latest scientific insights from IPCC members to a Science Statement on the urgency of climate adaptation from Nobel Prize Laureates. From inspiring talks from youth influencers all over the world to sustainable art activities, movies and action to regreen the environment. Important guests that speak at the Groningen event are for example:

  • Tawakkol Karman (Nobel Peace Prize 2011)
  • Christopher Pissarides (Nobel Prize in Economics 2010)
  • Donna Strickland (Nobel Prize in Physics 2018)
  • Ban Ki-moon (former Secretary-General of the United Nations)

The total program of this special (inter)national (online) interactive festival can be found on the website The highlights of the program:

Live event: Insights from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Friday 22 January | 09:30 - 11:00 hrs

At this event, lead authors of IPCC reports will be invited to deliver statements on the latest scientific insights on climate change impacts for different regions in the world. The focus of the event, led by television presenter Twan Huys, is on solutions and in particular on innovative approaches for the accelerated and scaled up implementation of these solutions for the benefit of vulnerable communities around the globe. The solutions for adaptation combined with the latest insights from IPCC will be discussed by:

  • Shuaib Lwasa (CLA, Groningen/Uganda)
  • Debra Roberts (co-chair WGII, South Africa)
  • Adelle Thomas (LA, Bahamas)
  • Anand Patwardhan (CLA, India/USA)

Innovative approaches for policy, business and society for scaling adaptation solutions will be discussed by:

  • Heleen de Coninck (CLA, TU Eindhoven)
  • Catrinus Jepma (CLA, UG)
  • Linda Steg (LA, UG)
  • Klaus Hubacek (LA, UG)

Ceremony with Nobel Prize Laureates on Challenges and Solutions for Climate Change Adaptation

Friday 22 January | 13:00 - 14:00 hrs

A ceremony with Nobel Prize Laureates in Groningen, convened by Chair of the Board of the Global Center on Adaptation, and 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. The following Nobel Prize Laureates have accepted the invitation to attend this (online) event: Tawakkol Karman, Nobel Peace Prize 2011, Christopher Pissarides, Nobel Prize in Economics 2010, Donna Strickland, Nobel Prize in Physics 2018. During the event, the participants will present a Science Statement on the urgency of climate adaptation as input for the Climate Adaptation Summit, on behalf of the scientific community worldwide.

Youth for Climate Adaptation Conference | The voice of Youth on Climate Adaptation

Friday 22 January | 13:00 – 18:00 hrs

During the Youth for Climate Adaptation Conference, youth from all around the globe comes together in Groningen. Jointly they contribute to a Global Action Agenda and a Regional Groningen Action Agenda, to be presented at the Climate Adaptation Summit. A lot of inspiring workshops, speeches and activities will be available in the free interactive online festival experience that will address how we can work on climate adaptive solutions together. The Youth for Climate Adaptation Conference is organised by youth, for youth.

Speaker highlights:

  • Adenike Oladosu (Nigeria): a climate activist and the initiator of the Fridays For Future movement
  • Elizabeth Wathuti (Kenya): an environment and climate activist and founder of the Green Generation Initiative
  • Vositha Wijenayake (Sri Lanka): a human rights law activist, director of SLYCAN Trust and consultant to the UNFCCC national adaptation plans and policy unit
  • Delaney Reynolds (USA): the Founder & CEO of The Sink or Swim Project

Next to this, there will be a lot of different interactive workshops, among others from the former Chief of Defence and 4-star General Tom Middendorp, the Resilient Cities Network, EcoShape and CGIAR. More information on the Youth for Climate Adaptation Conference can be found via

Open University on Climate Adaptation

Friday 22 January | 13:00 - 18:00 hrs

The Open University on Climate Adaptation presents a dynamic program full of interactive workshops, Q&As with engaging live speakers, energetic keynotes and digital board games about climate adaptation. Lecturers and professors from Groningen share their insights and knowledge about climate adaptation, with a special focus on how we work together on solutions for the world. Among others there are speeches and talks from:

  • Linda Steg (NL), professor of Environment Psychology at the University of Groningen
  • Jem Bendell (UK), professor of Leadership & Sustainability at the University of Cumbria
  • Jan van Boeckel (NL), Dutch artist-educator and researcher. He is a professor of Art & Sustainability at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen.

Online and live Exhibition Sponsland: a journey into Future Landscapes

Tuesday 19 January – Sunday 24 January

The Design Manifestation Act & Adapt has selected leading European landscape architects to design climate adaptive solutions for nine areas in the Northern Netherlands. The assignments are divided into four rural and five urban locations. The big question that needs to be answered: How can we adapt our landscape in such a way that we not only adapt to climate change, but also enrich the resilience and beauty of the city and landscape? The exhibition shows a contribution from the design firms that have examined the nine problem areas. We will get insights into the solutions and options they have come up with for the various areas. The results will be presented in both a virtual and physical exhibition, called Sponsland. The live exhibition will be located at the Grote Markt in Groningen. Take a journey through a future Groningen and check the landscape in which nature and culture are in balance. Greener, richer and (even) more attractive.

Public activities: films, bike & walk routes, audio walks

Tuesday 19 January – Sunday 24 January

During the week, a lot of activities take place. Watch the Climate Adaptation Groningen documentary in the Forum Groningen for free, created by G2K, and other climate films. Next to this, people can walk an art route in the city centre of Groningen. In total, four designs - made by WERC, 212 Fahrenheit, Ditmar van Dam and Minerva students - will be displayed. Wilbert van de Kamp present the shows "Farmer for discussion" and ‘Dus Wat Gaan Wij Doen Festival’. Want to go outside? Discover our bike routes or go on audio walks that take you from the "Grunneger Woaterkop"-artwork to the Tschumi Paviljoen.

Climate Adaption Week

About Climate Adaptation Groningen

Climate Adaptation Groningen is initiated by the Global Center on Adaptation, the Akkoord van Groningen.

Consisting of the Province of Groningen, municipality of Groningen, University of Groningen, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Alfa-college, Noorderpoort and UMCG - and in collaboration with Nationaal Programma Groningen. More information via

About CAS 2021

An international climate summit, the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021 (CAS 2021), will take place in the Netherlands on 25 and 26 January 2021. This online climate summit is aimed at finding solutions to adapt to the effects of climate change, such as extreme downpours, drought, heat and rising sea levels. World leaders such as Angela Merkel, Ban Ki-moon and UN Secretary General Guterres launch a broad Adaptation Action Agenda with practical climate solutions - and plans up to 2030. More information via

Last modified:16 December 2020 1.30 p.m.
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