GRII pushing ahead with climate resilience standards plan

COP27 has seen further progress in the initiative looking to create new standards to measure the risk of climate change for communities and businesses across the world.

The Global Resilience Index Initiative (GRII) is a multi-partner taskforce which is seen as a key milestone in its development towards an open, standard set of climate metrics and data to measure risks to communities, infrastructure and ecosystems.

The hope the initiative will help inform how to build resilience, adapt societies and economies to climate change, and mobilise the trillions of dollars necessary to build resilience.

GRII is a global public-private partnership to address the climate data emergency with consistent, accessible and reliable risk information for use by governments, the financial sector and wider communities.

At this point mid-way from its initial announcement at COP26 to full launch at COP28, the public and private sector GRII partners announced:

  • The launch of the GRII demonstrator, the GRII Viewer, providing the initial set of ‘people’ ‘planet’ and ‘prosperity’ indices to guide financial decisions to scale up adaptation.
  • The release of a UN report underlining the case for the GRII: Towards a Climate Risk Data Architecture: Common and Open Risk Metrics to Align Finance with Climate Resilient Development Goals, (published by United Nations office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) and the Centre for Green Finance and Investment (CGFI).
  • At COP27, the GRII is calling on innovators and data providers worldwide to support the scaling and improvement of this initiative, as well as engagement from more pathfinder institutions and governments. The race for data is a critical part of the race for resilience, and accessible climate risk indices must be made available to financial systems and economies.

The Insurance Development Forum added: “The adaptation financing gap is widening. The most recent UNEP Adaptation Gap report found that for developing countries, estimated adaptation costs – and likely adaptation financing needs – could be five to ten times greater than current international adaptation finance flows.”

Mami Mizutori, assistant secretary-general and special representative of the secretary-general for Disaster Risk Reduction in the UNDRR, and patron of the GRII said: “It is encouraging to see the operational momentum that has been achieved for the GRII since COP26, including the first use cases, initial seed funding and the launch of the data viewer. But this project has only just begun and to reach its full potential, the GRII needs more data feeds, and more pathfinder institutions and governments.

“At COP27, I am calling for Zero Climate Disasters by 2030. If we double down on efforts to reduce vulnerability, poverty and inequality, I believe this can be achieved. Quality risk data will play a crucial role in this. We need data that is comparable across all continents – on hazard, exposure, vulnerability and climate change risk. GRII is an excellent example of private and public sector partners working together to reduce disaster risk. We must now accelerate systemic data collection and aggregation for risk-informed climate action.”

Rowan Douglas, chair of GRII & chair of the IDF Operating Committee; head, Climate and Resilience Hub, WTW, added: “Congratulations to the academic, public and private sector teams that took the challenge laid down by UN Special Envoy, Mark Carney to fill the critical climate resilience information gap.  You cannot manage what you cannot measure.

“The GRII meets these urgent challenges, described in today’s ground-breaking report published in parallel by UNDRR and CGFI. But filling the resilience information void is major task and we warmly invite all players in the space to join this collective endeavour to help quell the Climate Emergency.

“I am delighted the insurance sector has stepped up, via the Insurance Development Forum, led with its unique expertise and resources to propel this global public good with its UN, Academic and wider industry partners. Now we can accelerate our efforts towards full launch at COP28.”