Press Release

New Tool Measures Climate Risk for Coastal Cities

in Program

“CORVI” measures cities’ financial, political, and ecological risk from climate change

Comprehensive assessment empowers policymakers to target investments in resilience

Announcement keynoted by former Secretary of State John Kerry

OSLO — Today the Stimson Center announced the Climate and Ocean Risk Vulnerability Index (CORVI), a new tool for coastal cities to identify the financial, political, and ecological risks they face from climate change, and released pilot city findings. CORVI empowers decision makers target investment in resilience and mitigation where it will matter the most. Using empirical and expert survey data, the tool provides a uniquely comprehensive, 10-category, city-level view of the factors that limit a city’s capacity to respond to climate and ocean threats.

Read the Project Summary and pilot city results:

The release of CORVI comes just one month after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere declared an ocean emergency, forecasting more intense storms, sea level rise, coastal flooding, marine heat waves, coral reef corrosion, and fish stock depletion. The announcement took place at the 6th annual Our Oceans Conference in Oslo, Norway and was keynoted by former Secretary of State John Kerry.

Pilot Results and Future Plans. CORVI was piloted in two Caribbean cities: Castries, Saint Lucia and Kingston, Jamaica. In 2020 the Stimson Center will complete assessments in the East African cities of Mombasa, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and work with partners to complete assessments in Fiji and other nations in the Pacific Region.

CORVI project leader and Director of the Stimson Center Environmental Security Program, Sally Yozell said, “CORVI prioritizes action and is uniquely comprehensive, setting the standard for identifying climate and ocean risk to coastal cities. Policymakers can use it to drive funding to areas of greatest risk. Cities have to build the capacity and resilience they need before it’s too late.”

Former Secretary of State and Founder of the Our Oceans Conference, John Kerry said, “For coastal communities from Massachusetts to the Maldives, the climate challenge is today and tomorrow, not some far off dystopic possibility. That’s why industries from insurance to the financial sector have emerged as leaders and advocates for resilience and mitigation, teaming up with policymakers to press for action. These tools show us not just where we’re threatened but where resources and attention can make a difference to protect lives and build resilience for the economies, governance structures, and environments communities depend on.”

CORVI was developed with the support of AXA XL and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.

The Stimson Center’s Environmental Security program explores the array of environmental threats, both human and natural, that have the potential to undermine national, regional, or global security.

The Stimson Center is a nonpartisan policy research center working to protect people, preserve the planet, and promote security & prosperity. More at

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Contact Caitlin Goodman at [email protected] or 202-478-3437.

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