Today, the disruptive potential of climate change is becoming increasingly evident. The just-in-time business model may have kept costs low, and companies lean and nimble, but they do not leave room for unforeseen shocks. The same applies to cities. Major urban hubs for production, trade and travel are often badly affected by international shocks irrespective of the source.
In the past, floods, droughts and food shortages had devastating but largely localized impacts. Today, these crises often affect more than one country or region. While the globalization of production chains has brought systemic gains for the world economy, it has also exacerbated the speed and scope of contagion in the event of shocks and disruptions.
Climate-related disruptions are also already testing the resilience of political institutions. Declining trust in government may lead to more reluctance on the part of politicians to take controversial steps needed to facilitate the low carbon, climate resilient transition.
All these developments are strong reminders that investing in preparedness and resilience pays. The United Nations points out that every dollar spent on disaster risk reduction saves $7 in emergency response. As it currently stands, however, every dollar spent on prevention and preparedness is outmatched by the $9 spent in responses.
In response to these challenges, this panel explores how to build new coalitions to strengthen national and sub-national level preparedness, improve prospects for international co-operation and surface concrete recommendations for global climate resilience.
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair, Environment Agency
Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility
Zoë Knight, Managing Director and Group Head, Centre of Sustainable Finance, HSBC
Paul Simpson, CEO, CDP
Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute
Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
Chair: Bernice Lee OBE, Executive Director, Hoffmann Centre for Sustainable Resource Economy, Chatham House