Climate change and natural hazards: What advantages for building resilience?

Climate change is increasing the risk of extreme weather events, including droughts, flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires. In 2017, costs were estimated to be $306 billion, which is almost double 2016’s loss of $188 billion (and also much higher than the 10-year-average of $190 billion).

Building resilience to withstand disaster events, including preventive measures and contingency planning, unfortunately remains the exception to the rule – only 13% of spending goes into pre-event resilience and risk reduction, whereas 87% is spent on post-event relief. This is not very sustainable, given that research shows that every EUR 1 spent on building resilience saves EUR 5 in post-event expenses.

The Zurich Post-Event Review Capability (PERC) is a systematic framework for the analysis of a disaster event, focusing on how a specific hazard event became a disaster. The PERC process evaluates the successes and failures in the management of pre-event disaster risk, disaster response and post-disaster recovery. Recently-conducted PERCs in the US, UK, Germany and Austria all point to the importance of sustainable investment.

EURACTIV organised this high-level stakeholder debate to discuss how to mitigate the risk of natural disasters through resilience planning.

Questions included:

  • What specific role should different stakeholders play – EU policymakers, investors, insurers, NGOs?
  • What are best practice examples of urban resilience planning In Europe? What are the economic benefits?
  • How is the EU’s Copernicus programme ‘Emergency Management Services’ contributing to better monitoring and management of environmental disasters?
  • How can resilience building become better investable for sustainable investors and improve supply of sustainable investments, while at the same time contributing to financing resilience?

>> Click here for more information about the event.

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