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ACRE Aide-Memoire

Notes from the first ACRE organizing meeting

In January 2020, thirty diverse organizations came together to participate in the first organizational meeting of the Alliance for a Climate Resilient Earth (ACRE). By all accounts, the gathering engendered a great deal of enthusiasm and support. We are looking forward to an official launch of the Alliance to coincide with Earth Day in April.

1. Vision Statement

Our vision is to bring together the collective strength of alliance members with the goal of providing global leadership for the climate resilience movement.

2. Mission Statement

Cities, businesses, and civil society must join forces, before disasters strike, to build climate resilience, save lives, and protect critical infrastructure.

3. Rationale

Without unprecedented new levels of cooperation for climate resilience, the world will be unprepared for the unprecedented wave of disasters wrought by climate change, and will undoubtedly fall short in meeting the sustainable development goals.

4. Administrative Headquarters

The Stimson Center has agreed to house the ACRE Initiative, operating as the nonprofit administrator for our collective effort. As a nonpartisan, 30 year-old organization based in Washington DC, Stimson will serve as an administrative center for the ACRE. Stimson has offered to convene meetings, develop a web site to showcase the progress of member organizations, and support cooperation and collaboration among government, business, and nongovernmental organizations dedicated to climate resilience. Stimson has assembled a talented, experienced staff, which will stay small, because our highest priority is to showcase members and enhance their reach in building climate resilience.

5. Through the Eyes of Cities

Climate resilience is now on par with reducing carbon emissions as a central task for cities around the world. Cities have led the effort to reduce their carbon footprint, and are now beginning to step forward to reduce the negative climate impacts on lives, property, and livelihoods. The ACRE will bring a systems approach to help cities mobilize resources and expertise to move from strategy to implementation in building climate resilient infrastructure and operations.

6. Focal Areas

The ACRE will organize in seven discrete focal areas, organizing to promote the work of each, and the synergies between. These seven focal areas include:

  1. Institutional investors
  2. Insurance/reinsurance
  3. Infrastructure (built and natural)
  4. Security and Readiness
  5. Governmental Relations and Financial resources
  6. Supply Chains
  7. Academic and Scientific Planning and Design

7. Principles of ACRE

Around the world, cities are facing risks that impact their residents and business and the infrastructure, economy, environment and social structures they rely on. Unfortunately, in many cities these risks are growing or new risks are emerging due to climate change. Reducing these risks and developing climate resilient communities requires a multi-faceted approach that recognizes and addresses the complexities of communities and the multiple systems that come together to make cities great places to live, learn, work and play. Only through a focused, global initiative to create climate resilient cities can we hope to achieve a climate resilient earth.

Climate Resilience is defined as “the ability of a community to prepare, plan for and adapt to the adverse impacts of extreme weather including those caused or influenced by climate change. A climate resilient community recognizes the need for both adaptation and mitigation strategies that serve to reduce vulnerabilities and risk while reducing the emissions that drive ever increasing impacts.”

As leaders in our respective sectors of the economy, civil society and government, we collectively agree to the following principles that will drive progress toward a climate resilient earth.

  • Climate resilience is only achievable through the collective efforts of organizations and individuals that represent multiple disciplines, systems, strategies and perspectives and recognize the power of collaboration.
  • Climate resilience solutions are most effective when they recognize the interconnectedness of community functions and focus on opportunities to capture benefits and synergies across these functions.
  • Climate resilience starts at the city level where impacts are most acute and where decisions have the greatest impact. Policymakers, residents and businesses must have access to tools and other resources to facilitate progress.
  • Effective and efficient climate resilience relies on the availability, accessibility and usability of data to support decision making.
  • An expansion of capital that supports resilience investments is necessary. Successful projects and lessons learned must be shared to unlock new sources of capital. 
  • Resilience is not a static. Cities, companies and citizens must regularly evaluate their current state through benchmarking and use the results to inform and then implement plans for improvement.
  • Nature provides multiple resilience services that should be leveraged to protect society at all levels, from local to global.
  • Climate resilience policies and practices must be informed by research—particularly social science research which examines how hazards impact distinct populations and the potential strategies to address their specific needs.
  • Resources are too scarce, time is too short, and the challenge is too big to rely on solutions that are not scalable, replicable and additive for cities and countries around the globe.
  • Outreach and education are essential to empowering citizens to build their resilience and engage their neighbors and policymakers; to supporting community leaders in effective decision making; and to building a cadre of climate resilience professionals.

We will leverage our influence and expertise, both collectively and individually, to develop or support the development of tools, technologies, strategies and practices that lead to a climate resilient earth.

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