Newsletter: Local Governments Building Resilience



Local Governments Building Resilience

From The Desk of Emilie: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 2016 already feels well under way, with multiple projects and initiatives on the agenda — read on to learn about exciting upcoming events and strategies to build climate resilience. This year will see many regional adaptation forums take place around the country, including the much anticipated return of the California Adaptation Forum.

In this edition of our newsletter, we highlight key initiatives and new ideas to finance local resilience solutions. 2016 will be an important year for resilience financing – expect a lot of innovation and groundbreaking initiatives as cities lead the way!

The Economic Risk of Climate Change
to the Bay Area

Climate change is already affecting the California economy and its impacts will continue to transform the Bay Area over the coming decades. This special briefing on the economic risks of climate change, hosted by the Bay Planning Commission (BPC), will discuss findings from recent studies on the Bay Area’s economic vulnerability to climate change, from drought and heat waves to floods.

Aleka Seville will be talking about the barriers and enablers to climate adaptation in the private sector, and engage the room in a discussion on opportunities and next steps for BPC to help build climate resilience for the Bay Area. The briefing will take place on Wed Jan 27th, in Oakland.

Register Here

Financing Adaptation: From Catastrophe to Resilience Bonds


Re:focus partners, Goldman Sachs, RMS, Swiss Re, and The Rockefeller Foundation recently released a report laying out the framework for a new financial product, called “resilience bonds.” These bonds are designed to help manage the financial risk from catastrophes, while simultaneously promoting investment in infrastructure that mitigates physical risk. The new framework is set out in the RE.bound report, Leveraging Catastrophe Bonds as a Mechanism for Resilient Infrastructure Project Finance. The report offers a new approach for systematically linking catastrophe bonds and conventional project finance to support large-scale resilience projects.

Read more and stay tuned on the RE.bound initiative.

Financing Adaptation: The 10% Resilience Pledge

Twenty-two cities from around the world have committed 10% of their budgets to building resilience in their communities. This amounts to more that $5 billion committed for projects that will help over 33 million people adapt to the pressures of a changing climate.


The Resilience Pledge presents a great opportunity to share best practices for financing, measuring and evaluating the environmental and community benefits of resilience measures across cities – and to better understand just how much these financial commitments need to increase in coming years.

Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities was interviewed at COP21 Paris where he talked about how the Resilience Pledge is beginning to unfold.

Click the photo below to view the video.

Michael Berkowitz @ the Climate Summit for Local Leaders

Interview: What Makes a Community Resilient?


We asked Aleka Seville, our Director of Community Adaptation: “what makes a community resilient?”

Aleka’s responses speak to the intersections between public planning, emergency response, and measuring and reporting of adaptation solutions’ effectiveness. She points out that “communities that commit to assessing climate risk within existing planning processes are able to build on existing frameworks and, sometimes, tap existing budgets, to mitigate these risks.”

Read Aleka’s thoughtful answers and learn how we are informing governments to better navigate regional challenges and incorporate adaptation strategies that reduce the risks of climate change.

The Business Case for Investing in Resilience

Emilie will be presenting on The Cost of Inaction and Making the Business Case for Investing in Resilience at the 2016 Climate Leadership Conference on Wednesday, March 9th, 2016.

Now in its fifth year, the CLC is organized by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry (TCR), with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the event’s headline sponsor.

Also make sure you don’t miss the workshop hosted by C2ES and the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group on Defining and Measuring Success When Planning for Resilience.

Save the Date: California Climate Adaptation Forum

The 2016 California Adaptation Forum will feature a series of plenaries with high-level government, community and business leaders, breakout sessions on adaptation, case study tours of projects in Southern California and pre-forum workshops on tools and strategies for implementing adaptation solutions.
Visit to learn more. We hope to see you there!

Upcoming Events and Conferences

Catch us at these upcoming events:

January 27, 2016 – BPC Expert Briefing, Oakland, CA – Aleka will present on the barriers and enablers to climate adaptation in the private sector.
March 8-10, 2016 – Climate Leadership Conference, Seattle, WA – Emilie will present on the Business Case for Resilience Investing.
April 3-6, 2016 – The Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) 2016 Conference, San Diego, CA – Aleka will discuss how cities are tackling the challenge of sea level rise.
April 4-6, 2016 – Northeast Climate Change Preparedness Conference, Baltimore, MD
May 10-13, Adaptation Futures, Rotterdam, NL – Yoon will present a poster and her (forthcoming) article in Climate and Development on USAID’s approach to National Adaptation Planning.
May 17-19 – Clean Med, Dallas, TX – Aleka will present our work on climate health analytics and our Resilient Hospitals pilot tool.
Sept 7-8, 2016 – California Adaptation Forum, Long Beach, CA







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