In a move which it is hoped will begin the process of mobilising trillions of dollars in capital that will fund climate adaptation and boost societal resilience, the Global Resilience Index Initiative has formally launched today at the COP26 talks in Glasgow.
The GRII has launched as a multi-partner task force with funding and in-kind contributions from both the insurance sector and partner institutions.
It will be co-chaired by Rowan Douglas, head of Willis Towers Watson’s Climate and Resilience hub, and Ben Caldecott, director of the UK Centre for Greening, Finance and Investment.
Aon president Eric Andersen, who serves as risk modelling champion on the Insurance Development Forum’s steering committee, is one of the patrons of GRII alongside Mark Carney and Mami Mizutori.
Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England, now serves as UN special envoy on climate action and finance, while Mizutori is assistant secretary general and special representative of the secretary general in the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The GRII has been created with two initial goals. Firstly, to offer global open reference risk data using metrics built on insurance risk modelling principles.
And secondly, to provide shared standards and facilities applicable to a wide range of uses, including corporate climate risk disclosure, national adaptation planning and reporting, and the planning of pre-arranged humanitarian finance.
Nicola Ranger, head of climate and environmental risk research at the University of Oxford’s sustainable finance programme and one of the key figures in the development of the initiative, said the GRII was about closing the data gap.
“To mobilise finance for adaptation we need to level the playing field in access to risk information and create a common language of risk that is accessible to all,” she said.
She said the project would work towards the creation of globally consistent risk information which would in turn help mobilise the necessary trillions of dollars investment required for adaptation and resilience measures.
Carney said the initiative could play an important role in creating a shared understanding of mounting physical climate risks.
“This will help close the insurance protection gap and direct investment and aid to where they are needed the most,” he said.
Mizutori said the next steps were to ensure that countries are able to make full use of the GRII’s potential, particularly at the strategic risk assessment stage, and support governments in making critical climate investment decisions.”
Aon’s Andersen, described the initiative as “a clear public good”.
“Using consistent reference metrics and spatial information the GRII will support and link worldwide groups working on climate resilience, including the humanitarian sector, infrastructure investment, disaster risk insurance, financial regulation and disclosure.
“With the wealth of global insurance risk modelling expertise to bring to the table, this multi-partner program will benefit policy makers, financial markets and exposed communities across the world in understanding their climate risks.
“This, in turn, will help decision-makers reach, communicate and implement better actions for a more resilient future for all.”