Urgent action is needed to build resilience to the impacts of climate change

Mardi, 14 novembre 2017


Bonn, 14 November 2017 – Issued on behalf of the Insurance Development Fund (IDF)

Resilience is on the agenda at this year’s climate conference under the Presidency of the Fiji Government where there was a call for urgent action to increase investment to make communities and economies more resilient to today’s and tomorrow’s climate risk.

They recognised that the hurricanes in the Caribbean, the monsoons in Asia, and storms in North America demonstrate the increasing impacts that communities across the world must be prepared for and that take action to build resilience especially for the most vulnerable is urgent.

Mary Robinson, President, Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, said:

“…to build resilience effectively we must address the root causes of poverty, inequality and exclusion and put people at the centre of decision making.”

Taking action to build climate resilience will not only help achieve the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, it will help deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. Laura Tuck, Vice President for Sustainable Development, World Bank Group, said:

"Recent events in the Caribbean and elsewhere demonstrate the urgency to make all development efforts more resilient to rising climate and disaster risk, especially for those most vulnerable to shocks. At the World Bank, we are aiming to have all of our operations risk-informed, and are committed to working with our partners to ensure resilience considerations are integrated into investment decisions at regional, national and community levels.”

Building resilience requires investment by the public and private sector. This makes economic and environment sense. Roelfien Kuijpers, Head of Responsible Investments and Global Head of Strategic Relationships of Deuche Asset Management said:

“For many years investors haven’t been able to fully assess climate change risks. Big data initiatives, such as the work of Four Twenty Seven, is allowing investors to do this and reduce the climate risks to their portfolios. This is an important step but more is needed to limit climate change risks, increase environmentally responsible investing, and to improve the disclosure of climate risks by companies.”

Dr Simon Young of Willis Towers Watson and the Insurance Development Forum highlighted the importance of public and private partnerships to assess and reduce risks saying:

"To build climate resilience we must first understand the risks and how to assess them. The insurance sector working through public/private partnerships can do this, so that communities and businesses can not only anticipate risks but absorb, cope and rebound from them.”

The Marrakech Partnership is bringing governments, business and civil societies together to take action and build climate resilience especially for the most vulnerable people. At the roundtable on unblocking investment in to resilience Vidar Helgesen, the Minister of Climate and Environment of Norway gave a clear example of action. He said:

“I am pleased to announce that Norway with Unilever and other partners is setting up a new $400m fund to invest in business models that combine investments in high productivity agriculture, smallholder inclusion and forest protection. This should be only one of many new public and private investments in more resilient socioeconomic development.”

Elhadj As Sy, the Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, emphasised that to reach vulnerable people, efforts must not remain focused at the international and national level. He said:

“Our volunteers demonstrated the positive impact local action can have when they responded to the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean, heat waves in Europe, and floods in Bangladesh. We must empower local actors so they know what’s coming their way and have the resources to act.”

To build resilience means understanding the science, and working with nature. Johan Rockström, the Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre said:

“Investing in resilience has two climate benefits. First it enables communities to navigate rising climate shocks and stresses. Second, it reduces climate risks by safeguarding carbon sinks and unleashing novel thinking on transformations to diversified fossil-fuel free societies.”

Inger Andersen, Director General of International Union for Conservation of Nature, said:

“Working with nature for climate resilience is essential. This protects and restores the ecosystems on which we all depend upon for clean air, water and food. At the same time this strengthens our resilience to climate extremes and variability.”

Fiji’s Climate Champion, Minister Inia Seruiratu underlined the importance resilience and action by a wide range of stakeholders saying:

“Everyone will need to come together in unprecedented ways to tackle the challenges ahead of us. For all of us, but especially in vulnerable areas such as the Pacific, working together to build resilience is more urgent than ever before.”

Rene Castro, Assistant Director General of FAO, speaking on behalf of the UN Climate resilience Initiative (A2R) echoed Minister Seruiratu’s comments saying:

“The UN Climate resilience Initiative is an excellent example of way public and private partners are coming together to help countries and communities anticipate and absorb climate risks, and to reshape development for sustainability.”

Rommel Lo from the Dumaguete Effata Association of the Deaf (DEAF) in the Phillipines underlined the importance of putting communities at the heart of decision making saying:

“Over a tenth of the world’s population live with some form of disability, and are among the most vulnerable to disasters. For the deaf community, it is my hope that even if we cannot hear, we can still be heard. We must be involved in making the decisions that will affect us.”

Notes to Editors

The Paris agreement for the first time, set global ambitions to strengthen climate resilience and reduce vulnerability. Three high level events on resilience are being held at COP 23 under Global Climate Action. There are designed build on this agreement and to identify concrete actions needed to build resilience to climate change. The three events are:

  • Unblocking investment in climate resilience. (13:15 to 14:45, 13 Nov, Room 3, Bonn Zone
  • Why climate resilience matters for people in SIDS and other vulnerable countries (11:30 to 13:00, 14 Nov, Room 6, Bonn Zone)
  • Working with nature to build climate resilient and sustainable development. (15:00 to 16:30 on Tuesday 14 November, Room 2, Bonn Zone)

The events have been organised by the by the following partners of UN Climate Resilience Initiative (A2R): Global Resilience Partnership, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN, Insurance Development Forum, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, International Union for Conservation of Nature, UN Environment, and the World Bank.

To be climate resilience means people and their economies need to have three things: to be able to understand and anticipate climate risks and hazards (both extreme events such as hurricanes and long-term changes such as hotter temperatures and sea level rise), to be able to absorb and cope with the impact of shocks and stresses when they occur; and, in the long term a transformation of development and what they do to reduce these risks.

For more information please contact info@a2rinitiative.org