The Z Zurich Foundation has announced its latest initiative, the Urban Climate Resilience Program (UCRP), further scaling up its efforts to combat the negative impacts of climate change.
The program consists of a four-step approach. Number one is to identify and engage with urban communities in need; secondly, to conduct in-depth analysis of each community’s climate-related issues; to plan, develop and deliver customised solutions; and to capture learning and scale the program.
Set to launch on 1 January 2023, the UCRP will support urban communities in ten countries across the globe.
Linda Freiner, Zurich’s Head of Sustainability said: “As an insurance provider, we see firsthand how climate change impacts urban areas with multiple and interconnected hazards. Zurich’s employees in these ten countries will volunteer their expertise to support the development and delivery of intervention plans. Our commitment to supporting community resilience and adaptation is unwavering. A sustainable future depends on it.”
David Nash, Climate Change and Partnerships Senior Manager, Z Zurich Foundation, added: “Building resilience at a community level is dependent not only on local action, but on the systems that impact that community.
“Our program will help identify tailored local solutions which communities can work on with our partners. It will also harness Zurich’s own networks to engage the wider private sector in scaling those solutions. And by working directly through our partners with the local authorities we aim to influence the ways in which systems can be adapted to better support vulnerable people.”
The Urban Climate Resilience Program is a collaboration between the Foundation, several members of the Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich), the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance and a number of city networks.
According to the announcement, over the past year, the Foundation – together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Plan International, and Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities) – has rolled out pilot programs in approximately 40 highly vulnerable communities in cities across Colombia, Ecuador and the US.
In January 2023, the Z Zurich Foundation intends to launch this program in seven more countries in collaboration with Zurich’s local offices and with a number of charitable organisations.
These include C40 Cities in Italy, Japan and Malaysia; ICLEI in Turkey; R-Cities in Malaysia and UK; and IFRC in Australia and Spain.
Gregory Renand, Head of the Z Zurich Foundation, said: “The need for adaptation has evolved to be both more urgent and more permanent than what any of us could have predicted. Against this backdrop, we welcome the launch of the SharmEl-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda at COP27 and are pleased to bring this new contribution which further complements our existing climate adaptation work. We are excited by the prospects of this new urban program and invite the public and private sectors to join us in this important journey: the time to act is within everyone’s term-of-office.”