C40 Creates Initiative to Help Cities Prepare for Severe Weather

May 7, 2013
C40 Risk Assessment Framework will help cities prioritize investment in climate actions

The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) announced a new Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action that will help cities better prepare for natural disasters and severe weather incidents. The new C40 Risk Assessment Framework will create a common approach for cities to assess climate risk and provide a process to help cities prioritize risk before investing in climate actions.

“In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and the recent floods in Jakarta and Sao Paulo, it is clear we need to empower cities to take the necessary actions to protect their citizens, infrastructure and economies from the devastating impacts of natural disasters,” said C40 Chair, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “While a growing number of cities have efforts underway to measure climate risk, there is a high degree of uncertainty and variability in their methodologies and approaches. The C40 Risk Assessment Framework, by creating a common approach to this challenge, will become the global standard by which all cities measure and manage climate risk."

The announcement builds on President Bill Clinton’s decades of leadership—most recently through the Clinton Foundation—to enhance the resiliency of U.S. infrastructure and communities.

Drawing on C40’s successful efforts to develop a common global standard for measuring community-scale greenhouse gas emissions, the C40 is launching an effort to develop an adaptation risk assessment framework to create a common approach to measuring risk that could be used by all cities to help them quantify the impact and manage their climate risks.

By strengthening climate risk assessment efforts via the Risk Assessment Framework, cities will be able to invest in the implementation of the most needed climate change actions over time. The development of a global standard for community-scale adaptation risk assessment would:

  • •         Enable cities to assess local climate risks with confidence;
  • •         Allow for local prioritizing of investments to mitigate those risks;
  • •         Achieve comparability between cities;
  • •         Enable banks to better structure lending for resilient infrastructure, and the develop standards for accessing adaptation-linked finance; and
  • •         Enable insurance companies to value risk in a uniform way, ensuring continued investment in urban infrastructure.

At the May 6, 2013 CGI Mid-Year Meeting, President Clinton, Secretary Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes and C40 Chair Bloomberg participated in a roundtable of C40 Mayors and select leaders from the private sector—including executives from the banking, insurance and engineering community—that expounded on finding a common language to measure and manage climate risk. Participants explored opportunities for investing in adaptation to climate change, building resilient urban infrastructure and mitigating risk. The discussion also centered on how public and private sectors can join together in identifying solutions to helping cities be better prepared for natural disasters and severe weather incidents in the long term.

The development of the Risk Assessment Framework will be guided by the newly-launched Climate Risk Assessment Network, which will bring together C40 Cities and outside partners such as lending institutions, technical experts, and the insurance industry. The first convening of the Climate Risk Assessment Network will take place in Rotterdam June 5 to 6, 2013 to lay the groundwork and next steps for growing the framework.

Source: C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

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