British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed the former Secretary of State for International Development, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, as the UK’s International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency.  

With one year to go until COP26 is held in Glasgow, the role of the Champion will be to drive global ambition and action to support countries like Sri Lanka on the frontline of climate change to adapt to its impacts and to build resilience, the British High Commission in Colombo said.

The UK recognises Sri Lanka’s rich biodiversity, but also its vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change such as temperature rise, rainfall variability and sea level rise.  It acknowledges the wider challenges of preparing and responding to related impacts such as floods, drought and wildfires and the emerging effects of rising sea levels and desertification.  

Without action, the World Bank predicts climate change could push more than 100 million people in developing countries below the poverty line by 2030. However, with support, countries and communities can adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Measures like early warning systems for storms, investing in flood drainage and drought resistant crops are extremely cost-effective, saving not just money, but lives and livelihoods.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan will engage the governments of the countries most affected by climate change and drive support from the international community and the private sector.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

“Climate change is already affecting people all over the world and COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of investing in resilience, now more than ever. The Prime Minister’s appointment of Anne-Marie Trevelyan as Adaptation and Resilience Champion will boost our ability to deliver our commitment to support those most vulnerable to climate change.”

The UK’s International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for the COP26 Presidency Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

“I am delighted to have been appointed Adaptation and Resilience Champion. It is vital the UK’s COP Presidency shows the world we are listening to the voices of those most impacted by climate change and that we will lead global action to address their concerns, from loss and damage, to access to finance.

“I look forward to working with our partners across the globe to represent and drive our high ambitions on the adaptation and resilience agenda.”