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GRII agreement signing with UNDRR, University of Oxford, and GEM Foundation


Jun 28, 2023



GEM Foundation has signed an important agreement between the Insurance Development Forum (IDF), the UNDRR, and Oxford University to collaborate on the Global Resilience Index Initiative (GRII). The GRII was established to make climate risk data available to governments and financial institutions to inform and foster climate-resilient investments worldwide. GEM’s inclusion in this partnership recognises that GEM’s expertise, tools, data and collaboration framework can also be applied to assessing climate change impacts and risks. I.T. represents an important link for GEM with the climate change risk assessment community.  

Zurich, Switzerland, 1 June 2023: Today at the IDF Summit 2023, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), the Insurance Development Forum (IDF), the University of Oxford, and the GEM Foundation signed a new agreement to advance the Global Resilience Index Initiative (GRII) and establish a Global Resilience Hub to help countries, financial institutions and investors, map and quantify their current and future climate and disaster risks and demonstrate the benefits of investing in resilience. The collaboration will prevent leaders from ‘flying blind’ on physical climate risk and focus vital investments on areas of greatest need.

Combining the insurance industry’s unparalleled foresight and modelling expertise, with the best UN and scientific data, the GRII will work with financial institutions and governments and capacity building programmes such as the Global Risk Modelling Alliance to improve the metrics and analysis essential to mobilise finance for adaptation and to better understand potential future loss and damage. An Operational Launch is planned for COP28 in Dubai and has been enabled by new in-kind and funding support from Climate Arc, the World Bank and the ongoing support of the UNDRR, UKCGFI, UK Research and Innovation, and the IDF. Further upgrades are being planned for COP29 in Australia assuming additional resources become available. Announced at COP26 under the mandate of UN Special Envoy for Climate Action & Finance, Mark Carney, the GRII provides critical data and metrics to save lives, mobilise finance for adaptation and incentivise resilient development. The initiative has gained remarkable traction as concerns over climate resilience have grown in the wake of recent disasters across both developed and developing countries.  

The data challenge has required an unprecedented collaboration across public, private and academic sectors combining resources and sharing expertise. GRII will respond to this challenge and the growing demand and will work to provide metrics, tools and guidance to support financial institutions, businesses and governments to increase investment in adaptation. Speaking at the IDF Summit 2023 Summit in Zurich, Switzerland,

GRII patron and UN Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mami Mizutori, said: “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 it is expected that the GRII will provide open-access data to support solutions to some of the biggest challenges at CoP28 including climate adaptation investment and loss and damage implementation.

Meryam Omi, Chief Executive, Climate Arc, founding funder of the new Hub, said, “Climate Arc is proud to support GRII’s work to improve the availability of physical climate risk and resilience data. 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 worldwide risk modelling collaboration and work with financial institutions is coordinated by a Global Resilience Hub, hosted by Oxford University.

Dr Nicola Ranger, Director of the new Hub and Leader, Resilience and International Development at the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, said: “Oxford has a strong record of advancing frontier science to save lives through public private academic collaboration. 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 partners internationally to deliver this important initiative.”

John Schneider, Secretary General of the GEM (Global Earthquake Model) Foundation, a public-private partnership that is committed to reducing the risk of earthquakes and other natural hazards worldwide, said: “GEM recognises that the tools for assessing earthquake risk can be leveraged to assist in assessing climate change impacts and risks.  Moreover, an understanding of physical and socio-economic vulnerability and the evolution of our natural and built environment are fundamental to understanding all of these risks. It is exciting to be part of the GRI Initiative to bring our collective expertise and information to the table.”The GRII has been coordinated by the Insurance Development Forum the platform co-chaired by the UN, World Bank and Industry to support practical climate resilience measures. The GRII is seen as key to directing financial flows towards resilient investments including homes, schools and infrastructure.

Michel Liès, Chair of the Insurance Development Forum and Zurich, said: “We are delighted that the GRII has reached this important milestone in its capabilities, resources and governance. Our thanks to all our partners and supporters who have joined this collective endeavour to solve this grand challenge on the Race to Resilience.”

Link to the press release:

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