The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance at COP26

The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance and many of our members will be in Glasgow and online for COP26 to share our expertise and evidence advocating for the needs of flood prone communities across the globe. This is where you can find out where we will be, what we’re doing, and what action we are calling for.

The 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, COP26, is taking place in Glasgow, Scotland 31 October-12 November 2021. COP26 is a key opportunity for world leaders to ramp up climate action and deliver commitments that limit global warming, provide people affected by climate change with the resources they need to adapt, and compensate those who have already experienced climate change induced loss and damage.

Statement on the UK Government’s announcement on Climate Adaptation, 8 November

We welcome the UK Government’s commitment to providing funding for adaptation in Asia Pacific (BBC, here) and to making humanitarian action, faster, more efficient and more focused. But this does not go far enough. It will not meet adaptation needs across developing countries around the world, nor unstick the issue of finance for loss and damage.

We know that flooding, for example, affects more people globally than any other type of climate exacerbated event – 635 million people every year – alongside other extreme climate events which have the most devastating impacts in the poorest countries, which bear the least responsibility. 

How far will this limited announcement spread? We need governments to meet their $100bn commitments, and to focus on building resilience of those who need it most. For every USD1 spent on flood prevention and resilience, USD5 is saved on recovery.

Colin McQuistan, Head of Climate and Resilience at Practical Action

The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance at COP26

The Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance is at COP26 to raise awareness of the impact and cost of flooding and other climate related hazards on communities across the globe and the major gaps in funding, policy, and practice that neglect those worst affected by climate change.

We’re doing this through a wide range of activities, both in Glasgow and online, most of which you’re very welcome to join us in. You can also find out more about what we are calling for COP26 to deliver, and why, in this blog.

7-8 Nov. World Climate Summit – The Investment COP

Zurich Insurance Group is a co-sponsor of the World Climate Summit, an annual COP side event for business and investment-driven solutions to climate change. The two day event is taking place in person in Glasgow and online.

Michael Szönyi, who leads the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, is contributing to Session 2B on 7 November at 11.30 GMT on the topic of Investing & Insuring for Resilience. Michael will share his thoughts and experiences of why investments in pre-event resilience and climate change adaptation is key to risk management and make sense in the long run.

8 Nov. Humanitarians at the forefront: Scaling up climate action and finance flows to frontline communities

83% of all disasters in the last decade were caused by climate- and weather related events. Estimates show that by 2050 humanitarian aid responding to such events could cost more than $20bn per year if we don’t invest more in resilience building and adaptation today. In this official side event humanitarian and development experts, including our partners Mercy Corps and the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies will be sharing experiences of working with people at the frontlines of the climate crisis and discuss actionable solutions for these disastrous challenges for government negotiators to take forward at COP26 and beyond.

This UNFCCC Side Event is taking place in Multimedia Studio 1 (Blue Zone) at 18.30 GMT and will be broadcasted online on the COP26 Side Event YouTube channel for those not available to attend in person, set a reminder now so you don’t miss out.

8 Nov. Loss and Damage: Global perspectives for action

8 November is the COP26 Presidency programme day for adaptation and loss and damage. A day for highlighting the importance of these themes, build a common understanding of what effective and ambitious adaptation action looks like and unpack what more needs to be done to avert, minimize and address loss and damage.

Alliance partners are contributing in this discussion on overcoming critical challenges on loss and damage. The session takes place at 14.15 and is open to Blue Zone participants, we will be using a highly interactive approach to dialogue and debate, resulting in crowdsourced insights and solutions. RSVP now to participate in person or watch along online.

9-10 Nov. Development and Climate Days

We’re a co-organiser of this year’s Development and Climate Days. An annual event help in parallel with COP where practitioners, researchers, and policymakers from across the world come together to share experiences and solutions for building climate resilience. This year the event is entirely online to ensure it’s accessible to those of us who cannot make it to Glasgow. You can learn more about the history of the D&C Days, find the themes and the programme, and register for the event on IIED’s website. Below are details of sessions we’re leading.

9 Nov 8.30 GMT: Unprecedented, widespread, and rapid: Is climate change being adequately accounted for in early warning early action?

Climate change is already having a tremendous humanitarian impact, notably due to its impact on the frequency, intensity, and magnitude of extreme weather. This session builds off voices from the frontline of the climate crisis, and brings experts from scientific and humanitarian sectors to explore how Early Warning Early Action can and should better take climate change into account. This blog provides a great taster to the topics we’re discussing.

9 Nov 14.30 GMT: Opportunities for green and grey infrastructure to increase flood resilience

This session will discuss opportunities and challenges of green infrastructure for flood resilience, including how it can be combined with hybrid solutions and grey infrastructure. Practical examples and experiences will be presented and the potential for partnerships and collaboration on Nature-based Solutions explored.

10 Nov. A humanitarian’s view of the climate finance crisis – the realities and solutions from a practitioner perspective

Climate change is impacting communities and countries around the world but, as our research shows, global investments in adaptation continue to lag and are not directed to the most climate-vulnerable countries. As part of the Resilience Hub at COP26 we’re bringing together humanitarian actors who know what the needs are in the countries and communities hardest hit by climate change and weather related disasters, and who are able to offer solutions.

This event is taking place at 17.15 GMT in the Resilience Hub (Blue Zone), and if you’ve registered to the Resilience Hub you can watch along online or catch up on the recording.

11 Nov. How are Vulnerable Countries Responding to Loss and Damage and What Support Do They Need?

What are the challenges and opportunities for developing countries, local governments and communities as loss and damage impacts accelerate? This session will highlight the mechanisms required to strengthen global solidarity and share case studies of national preparedness for loss and damage from Alliance members and partners.

The event is taking place at 16.45-18.00 GMT in Lomond Auditorium which can fit 144 people. You can also watch online via the COP26 Side Event live stream on Youtube, set a reminder now so you don’t miss out.

UK Universities’ Climate Innovation Showcase

Our work with the coastal community in Lowestoft (UK) is highlighted in a poster prepared for the COP exhibition hosted by Universities UK it is available online as part of the exhibition’s Adaptation Theme and also physically at the Ramshorn venue in Glasgow. You can also find our more about the Alliance’s work in the UK here.

Find out more

Read the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance’s joint statement here.

You can find more of our research and evidence based on our community programmes in the resource library, or have a look at our blogs for case studies and the latest thoughts from our experts across the globe.

Find out more about the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance, who we are, and the work we’re doing here.

To keep up to date with our latest news from and activities at COP26 you can follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Get in touch

For media enquiries during COP26 please contact Sarah Baldwin at

For more information about the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance and general enquiries about our presence at COP26 please get in touch at

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