The High-Level Climate Champions Race to Resilience was launched at the Climate Adaptation Summit on 25 January by Alok Sharma, COP26 President designate, after an opening statement from Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary General of the United Nations.
The campaign sets out to catalyse a step change in global ambition for climate resilience, putting people and nature first in pursuit of a sustainable and resilient world where we don’t just survive climate shocks and stresses, but thrive in spite of them. Through a partnership of initiatives, the campaign will focus on helping vulnerable communities to build resilience and adapt to impacts of climate change, such as extreme heat, drought, flooding and sea level rise.
Twenty-four Partner Initiatives have joined the Race to Resilience. These initiatives are made up of over 2,500 non-state actors, taking action in over 100 countries across the campaign’s themes of urban, rural and coastal resilience.
Richard Threlfall, Chair of ICSI said: “Bold action is needed to solve the urgent systemic challenges that exist at the intersection of climate change, ageing infrastructure, and underinvestment. Through the Race to Resilience campaign, we want to give the engineering community a platform to be at the forefront of climate action, harnessing their ability to provide sustainable and resilient solutions for infrastructure, and delivering impact ‘on the ground’ where it’s most needed.”
Catalysing engineers for climate action
ICSI is the biggest coalition of engineers in the world, influencing the work of over 200,000 engineers in 175+ countries. Because of this, ICSI offers an unparalleled opportunity to act as a catalyst for engaging with the engineering community on the global agenda for climate action and resilience building via the Climate Champions Team and the broader UN climate agreement implementation process.
As a Partner Initiative, ICSI has made the following pledges:
- In 2021: to secure commitments from minimum 10 of the world’s largest engineering firms and individual commitments from 1,000 engineers globally to the ICSI Pledge.
- By 2030: ICSI members will have influenced and/or delivered 12,600 projects in 2,000 cities to improve the climate resilience of 400m people.
Accelerating infrastructure resilience
In addition to these, specific actions will be advanced including:
- To publish Infrastructure Pathways, a resource that brings together stakeholders from across the infrastructure lifecycle to map existing guidance and provide line of sight for practitioners to embed climate resilience within infrastructure. Infrastructure Pathways will deliver a publication and a web-based interactive platform by COP26.
- To publish a common set of Indicators for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, allowing the engineering community to lead in providing a unified, credible and consistent definition for sustainable and resilient infrastructure and a means – through a common set of indicators – to steer concessional finance toward investing in sustainability and resilience.
- To publish the Innovation Project Database, which will establish an overview of global climate adaptation innovations, and their best practices and government champions, based on global infrastructure research and unique engineering-based performance criteria. These findings will be communicated as a searchable database designed with a user-friendly framework for any engineering discipline or geographic location.
Tracking progress and demonstrating impact
To monitor progress and demonstrate tangible impact, ICSI will track the following metrics and report progress on an annual basis:
- The number of engineering companies and individual engineers committed through ICSI’s activities
- The number and locations of projects that would be influenced/built by these people/organizations
- The overall projected reduction in vulnerability calculated as number of populations made more resilient by the projects delivered on the ground by engineering companies and infrastructure owners and operators.
The COP26 Resilience Hub will be the home of Race to Resilience and where partners will share, in person and virtually, what actions they are taking to build a resilient and prosperous future.
Find out more about ICSI’s Race to Resilience and see how to get involved here.