COP25 2019

COP25, 2 to 13 December 2019

What is COP25?

The UN Climate Change Conference will feature the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) and meetings of the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies, will take place from 2-13 December 2019 in Madrid, Spain.


Why is the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance attending?

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COP is an important venue to meet with policy makers and share knowledge from our grassroots programmes and research. Nearly every government in the world comes to COPs to advance important climate change objectives. We are particularly interested in hearing how governments, the private sector and civil society is moving forward with the commitments made at the UN Climate Action Summit in September. We really must keep up a drumbeat of collective action and energy to adapt to the climate emergency. 

One of the themes of this year’s COP is Oceans and the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance (ZFRA) remains extremely concerned about the impact climate change and sea level rise will have on flooding. Recent research in Nature Communications estimates a tripling of people vulnerable to sea-level rise and coastal flooding. Venues like COP are an excellent opportunity to raise alarms about the need to adapt to the climate emergency so that vulnerable populations still have a chance to thrive.


What are we asking for and how can we help?

  • Increase private sector financing for adaptation. ZFRA brings together a unique, multisectoral partnership, including INGOs and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies who work closely with communities affected by climate change related hazards such as floods. These implementing partners can bring unique program perspectives and can help the private sector identify potential ‘investable’ resilience and adaptation projects.
  • Make climate risks visible in private financial markets. We will support the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI), a private sector and UK-led coalition with Willis Towers Watson, the World Economic Forum, and over a dozen other partners, as it develops and pilots to better price climate and systemic risks in large-scale infrastructure investments in several countries over the coming year. This will make climate risks explicit in financial decision-making and transform how infrastructure investment decisions are made.
  • Advocate with governments – especially Ministers of Finance and Infrastructure – to use forward-looking scenarios to plan for future infrastructure and embrace nature-based solutions. For more details on ZFRA recommendation on this topic read From Grey to Green infrastructure: a paradigm shift needed to deliver on climate action.
  • Governments and communities need to approach resilience building in a holistic and comprehensive manner by considering human, social, physical, natural and financial capitals, such an approach supports our “multiple dividends” business case for investments in resilience. 


Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance engagement at COP25

Saturday 7 December 2019


EU Pavilion lobby 

Meet the Expert: What Climate Action & Advocacy is needed to help vulnerable communities adapt to increased flooding

Ann Vaughan (Mercy Corps), Head of the Alliance’s Advocacy Workstream, will be sharing how the Alliance brings together community programmes, new research, shared knowledge, and evidence-based influencing to build community flood resilience in developed and developing countries. 

Sunday 8 December 2019

Development and Climate Day

Red Cross Climate Center and Mercy Corps are co-sponsoring a session on “Can remittances help communities prepare for disaster?”

Afsari Begum from Practical Action Bangladesh is speaking at a session on “From source to sea”. 

Monday 9 December 2019



Bangladesh Pavilion 

ZFRA will host two different sessions in partnership with the Government of Bangladesh at their Pavilion: 

12:30-14:00 “Community adaptation practice for flood resilience” where the Bangladesh Minister of Environment and Forest and Climate Change will chair and Concern Worldwide, Practical Action, and Mercy Corps will share experiences from their flood resilience work in Bangladesh 

16:30-18:00 “Money where it matters: Getting climate finance to local levels for impact”. A session which  will highlight findings from ZFRA programming and research in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Nepal and share both challenges and opportunities to increase investment on climate change adaptation to reach the most vulnerable communities.

Find out more or register attendance

Wednesday 11 December 2019


Swenja Surminski from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE is leading a UNFCCC Resilience lab workshop on “Developing transformative financial instruments”. Reinhard Mechler from IIASA will contribute on “Finance for transformational risk management: towards a comprehensive principled approach”. 

Wednesday 11 December 2019


Practical Action and the Government of Nepal are holding a side event on “Loss and Damage in South Asia: Towards an inclusive assessment and action” which will be supported by IIASA. 

Thursday 12 December


IIASA is participating in the side event “Breaking new ground: Advancing Loss and Damage governance and finance mechanisms” led by the German Development Institute (GDI) with Act Alliance and partners.  

From our library

Generating multiple disaster resilience dividends

Saving lives and livelihoods-The urgent need to invest in flood resilience 

Climate Action: Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance commitments and recommendations 

Read more in these blogs from Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance

From Grey to Green infrastructure: a paradigm shift needed to deliver on climate action by Michel Szönyi, Program Lead Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance

What is loss and damage, why it is critical, and what outcomes are needed from COP25? by Sunil Acharya, Climate and Resilience Regional Advisor at Practical Action. 

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