Former Spanish President Jose Maria Aznar to Chair Global Adaptation Institute Advisory Council

WASHINGTON, D. C, (October 12th ) Jose Maria Aznar, former President of Spain, will Chair the Advisory Council of Global Adaptation Institute, a new climate group (http://www.globalai.org) that seeks to become the pragmatic leader on the critical environmental issue of adaptation to climate change.

“The world must adapt to environmental change and to new social and economic circumstances, especially to protect and benefit people throughout the developing world. Global Adaptation Institute is an urgent, worthwhile initiative focusing on authentic, efficient solutions. I am proud to be part of it,” Aznar affirmed. 

Institute CEO Dr. Juan Jose Daboub, former second in command at the World Bank, praised Aznar as “one of the most prominent European statesmen of this generation. Under his leadership, Spain’s economy grew by 68% to become the 8th largest in the world. He is an extraordinary international leader – serious and consequential – and a great champion for global adaptation.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed the urgency of climate change adaptation, “We must get very serious about adaptation and we must do so now. There is no time to lose.” 

In Washington last month, Aznar participated in a work session on climate adaptation sponsored by Global Adaptation Institute with representatives from the United States, Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia and Australia, including former presidents, a former president of the World Bank, corporate leaders, philanthropists, and experts from top universities, think tanks, and foundations.

Ken Hersh, CEO of NGP Energy Capital Management, a $9.5 billion natural resources investment firm based in Irving, Texas, pledged a $10M unrestricted donation to Global Adaptation Institute which will be based in Washington and launches later this year. 

“Building resilience on food/agriculture, water, energy and coastal protection is vital,” Daboub declared. “Our work in the World Bank showed that to maximize credibility, consensus and effectiveness on the vital climate adaptation issue we must have rigorous analysis of data, clear metrics, and realistic solutions,” he emphasized. 

Speaking to reporters at Climate Week NYC, against the backdrop of the annual UN General Assembly, amid preparations for the Cancun Climate Summit/COP-16 meeting in December, Daboub emphasized that “Private investment is absolutely vital. Our Institute will directly fund initiatives that build resilience to climate change (‘global warming’). It will be positive if the UN Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) increases its focus on Adaptation, but vulnerable populations can’t wait for the Kyoto Protocol or other global treaties on carbon and greenhouse gases to save them.”