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UNDRR, IDF, Oxford University, and GEM Foundation collaborate to establish Global Resilience Hub

7th June 2023 - Author: Akankshita Mukhopadhyay

UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the Insurance Development Forum (IDF), the University of Oxford, and the GEM Foundation signed an agreement at the IDF Summit 2023 to launch the Global Resilience Index Initiative (GRII) and establish a Global Resilience Hub.

The aim of this collaborative effort is to assist countries, financial institutions, and investors in mapping and quantifying current and future climate and disaster risks, thereby facilitating informed investment decisions and preventing leaders from operating blindly in the face of physical climate risk.

The GRII combines the insurance industry’s unparalleled foresight and modelling expertise with the best available UN and scientific data. By working closely with financial institutions, governments, and capacity building programs such as the Global Risk Modelling Alliance, the initiative seeks to improve metrics and analysis necessary for mobilising finance for adaptation and gaining a better understanding of potential future loss and damage.

The operational launch of the GRII is scheduled to take place at COP28 in Dubai, supported by new in-kind and funding contributions from Climate Arc, the World Bank, and ongoing support from the UNDRR, UKCGFI, UK Research and Innovation, and the IDF. Further upgrades are planned for COP29 in Australia, subject to the availability of additional resources.

The GRII was initially announced at COP26 under the mandate of UN Special Envoy for Climate Action & Finance, Mark Carney. This initiative aims to provide critical data and metrics to save lives, mobilize finance for adaptation, and incentivize resilient development.

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Given the growing concerns over climate resilience in the wake of recent disasters across developed and developing countries, the GRII has gained remarkable traction.

The data challenge inherent in addressing climate resilience necessitated an unprecedented collaboration across public, private, and academic sectors, with the pooling of resources and sharing of expertise.

The GRII is designed to respond to this challenge and growing demand by providing metrics, tools, and guidance to support financial institutions, businesses, and governments in increasing investments in adaptation.

Speaking at the IDF Summit 2023 in Zurich, Switzerland, GRII patron and UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, emphasised the need for a rebalance in investment, stating, “Currently, we know that only about 4 percent of all official development assistance related to disasters goes into prevention; the rest goes into response and recovery. This is not sustainable in the face of growing climate risks. There must be a rebalance towards investing more in prevention. The GRII helps point to where investment is needed and can have the most impact. By directing investments and resources to reduce climate risks before they create disasters, countries can build a sustainable resilient future for all.”

By December, the GRII aims to provide open access data to support solutions to significant challenges at CoP28, including climate adaptation investment and the implementation of measures to address loss and damage.

Meryam Omi, Chief Executive of Climate Arc, a founding funder of the new Hub, expressed pride in supporting GRII’s work to improve the availability of physical climate risk and resilience data. Omi stated, GRII’s open, transparent asset-level data will support public and private financial institutions in accelerating the mobilisation of finance for adaptation and resilience in emerging and developing economies. We look forward to seeing the initiative continue to grow and reach even greater scale and impact in the future.”

The coordination of the worldwide risk modelling collaboration and work with financial institutions is entrusted to the Global Resilience Hub, hosted by Oxford University.

Dr. Nicola Ranger stated, “The data we are collectively building and making available through the Global Resilience Index Initiative is urgently needed to close the gap in investment in adaptation and nature-based solutions to protect people, prosperity, and the planet and align finance with climate resilient development. We’re delighted to be working with international partners to deliver this important initiative.”

John Schneider, Secretary General of the GEM Foundation, expressed excitement about leveraging their collective expertise and information to contribute to the GRII Initiative. Schneider emphasised the importance of understanding physical and socio-economic vulnerability and the evolution of natural and built environments in comprehending risks associated with climate change impacts.

The GRII is coordinated by the Insurance Development Forum, a platform co-chaired by the UN, World Bank, and Industry, which aims to support practical climate resilience measures. The initiative is considered crucial in directing financial flows toward resilient investments in critical areas such as homes, schools, and infrastructure.

Michel Liès, Chair of the Insurance Development Forum and Zurich, expressed his delight at the GRII’s progress and thanked all partners and supporters who joined the collective endeavour to address the grand challenge of building resilience.

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