Invest in long-term resilience to prepare for a 1.5 degree plus world

Friday, December 6, 2019

Global Resilience Partnership Press Release 05 December COP25, Madrid, Spain. 

The world has made significant development progress over the past decades, but these gains have been uneven and often come at the cost to our climate, environment, and marginalized sectors of society. Innovative resilience approaches allow vulnerable people and places to thrive in the face of surprise, uncertainty and change, but they are not being applied in enough geographies, nor at the scales required.

The 2019 IPCC report on oceans and the cryosphere highlights how sea level rises linked to emissions will threaten more than 1 billion people and cause trillions of euros in damages to global economy. By investing in agile and equitable resilience initiatives, the future can be repositioned for millions.

Michael Szönyi, Flood Resilience Programme Lead at Zurich Insurance said: ‘‘There is a strong likelihood that we will miss the 1.5 degrees threshold, irrespective of mitigation work. We have to intensify adaptation and mitigation preparations for that possibility, right now.’’

Building pre-event resilience is more cost- effective than investing in post-event response and recovery, for every 1 USD invested in resilience, 4 USD is saved in recovery costs. Working through a resilience lens can simultaneously assist vulnerable populations to mitigate the escalating climate emergency, adapt to extreme weather and social-economic shocks and close the financial gap in disaster response costs.

‘‘Despite compelling results, proven resilience approaches that combine mitigation and adaptation approaches are not being used at the scales needed. The Global Resilience Partnership is accelerating understanding of resilience as a component in the response to the climate emergency in our daily work and through our engagements at COP25.’’ Said Deon Nel, CEO, Global Resilience Partnership (GRP).

‘‘Whilst GRP works with influencing significant policy mechanisms, we are also addressing the big issues on the ground.’’ Said Smita Sanghrajka, International Development Advisory Services Partner, KPMG East Africa.

‘‘KPMG has supported the GRP Incubator that enables CSO’s at grassroots level to fight the challenges of climate change and build resilience where it is most needed.’’ continued Sanghrajka.

Development financiers looking for long term return on investment, and private sector investors seeking opportunities to mitigate global economic risk, can opt for climate smart and risk informed development processes that work directly with communities to ensure that initiatives do not disconnect from reality.

In Tanzania, a CARE sustainable forest management project, increased the area of community managed forest under sustainable practices by 67%, whilst also improving community livelihoods and empowering women.

‘‘The project equipped women and men to make more sustainable livelihood choices that also enhanced the underlying ecosystem. Evaluation found that participation of women in forest conservation increased from 5% to 36%, demonstrating that both social and environmental outcomes are possible.’’ Said Karl Deering, Senior Technical Advisor, CARE USA.

There is more need than ever for resilience programs, projects and policies that can tackle multiple risks in an increasingly unpredictable world. The insurance sector is known an arbiter of risk, signaling good long-term investments to the wider market. New sources of funding are required and these need to be flexible, predictable and long-term, combining public and private finance and targeted towards resilience building.

This blog was originally published on 5 December 2019 by United Nations Framework Convention for Climate change (UNFCCC) as a press release from the Global Resilience Partnership during COP25. Find the original here. 

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