World Resources Institute’s Climate Resilience Practice (CRP)— in partnership with the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment (CCRI), Willis Towers Watson and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) — has won a Global Environment Facility (GEF) Adaptation Innovation Challenge award. Out of over 400 applicants, WRI is one of 10 finalists and is now eligible for a grant of $1.3 million once fully approved. This new funding allows CCRI and WRI — in partnership with vulnerable countries — to scale up work on advancing systemic resilience to mobilize much needed adaptation finance.

As the impact of physical climate risks (PCRs) on investments becomes more apparent, investors seek solutions to address these risks proactively. However, it is becoming clear that current investment decision-making practices severely misprice these risks. This poses analytical challenges and constitutes a form of market failure; both must be addressed to better prevent natural and financial disasters, harness investment opportunities, and mobilize public and private finance effectively.

CCRI is a private sector-led initiative with over 100 members and $20 trillion of assets under management. It focuses on advancing practical tools and solutions to incentivize and reward the inclusion of resilience in investments. Conceptualized by WRI, Willis Towers Watson, the World Economic Forum and the United Kingdom Government, CCRI originally launched at the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit.

More specifically, CCRI equips investors and governments with the tools and information they need to better understand and manage PCRs. Once aware of the full scope of investment risks and opportunities, these funders can invest in a network of resilient infrastructure in both vulnerable and advanced economies, helping prevent further disruption to people’s livelihoods and economic collapse.

Through CCRI and alongside key public institutions, WRI is helping mobilize the global private finance industry to develop and test practical solutions that integrate PCRs into investment decision-making. These solutions focus on addressing interrelated challenges at the asset design, financing and systemic levels. 

With the GEF’s funding, WRI, CCRI and Willis Towers Watson will: 

  1. Tailor systemic risk assessments in partnership with vulnerable countries, including small island developing states, to improve public capacity to assess and manage resilient infrastructure networks.
  2. Prioritize critically needed investments that maximize the resilience of economies and societies.
  3. Develop systemic resilience metrics that communicate macroeconomic value at risk for an infrastructure network’s specific exposure to climate risks to guide both private and public decision-makers more effectively.

These solutions will be coupled with efforts to structure investment vehicles that reward public and private actors for funding resilience work.

Here’s what Alan Smith, Chair of the Systemic Resilience Forum of the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment — which WRI hosts — had to say about winning the award:

“We are absolutely thrilled with the GEF’s support: This award will build on our pioneering work with Jamaica, helping us work with several vulnerable country governments to advance systemic risk planning and investment, support development of critical resilience metrics, and work with our private sector members to deploy investments that leverage CCRI solutions. We cannot achieve a net-zero world without being resilient first — and are excited to be in this journey with the GEF and our partners.” 

Learn more about CRP’s work with governments, international institutions, the private sector, and civil society organizations to systematically integrate climate risks into their decision-making.