Race to Resilience launches framework to verify climate resilience impact

By Climate Champions | November 7, 2021

The Race to Resilience, launched in January 2021, has developed a metrics framework for non state actors to verify the climate resilience impact of their actions. This new metrics framework, for the first time, allows non state actors to report action, and quantify and verify impact under a common framework.

The scope of Race to Resilience includes people and hectares of natural systems, with a goal of covering gaps in resilience. This implies that for the campaign to be successful, it has to include the most exposed, vulnerable, populous and large regions of the Global South. In contrast, a scope including assets would have the opposite effect.

The focus is on increased resilience. The campaign does not claim that the people and ecosystems benefitting from partner actions are resilient or adapted to climate change, rather the claim is that they have increased resilience to climate change. This is a journey where all and every action matters and adds up to the goal of making 4 billion people more resilient by 2030.

The Center for Climate Resilience Research (CR2) joined the campaign as Technical Secretariat in mid-April 2021, and is responsible for conducting the work on metrics and for consultations with the Methodological Advisory Group (MAG).

Working ad honorem for the campaign and on the basis of several rounds of discussions and feedback with R2R co-leads, the MAG and CR2, McKinsey developed the concept of the metrics framework, and delivered a first draft at the end of May. In June, McKinsey also provided Risk Analytics statistics on exposure of people and natural systems to the main climate hazards.

From a scientific and technical standpoint, when CR2 took over from McKinsey in May, the metrics framework was strengthened along two lines:

  1. A process of co-construction, effective in allowing the appropriation of the framework by all stakeholders:
    • Co-construction with Partners, receiving comments and suggestions to early drafts in drop-in sessions, which allowed us, among others, to refine concepts such as direct and indirect beneficiaries, or active versus sustained resilience.
    • Co-construction with experts from the MAG, which, among others, led us to include and disseminate with Partners the IPCC typology of climate actions and to add resilience attributes as a cross-cutting outcome together with knowledge and financing.
    • Co-construction with the Race to Resilience management team, crucial in reinforcing the section on vulnerability and in conveying that climate action should seek to involve vulnerable communities and avoid tokenism.
  2. A process of co-learning at the interface of science and policy, which implies that the metrics framework is not just a measurement effort, it also opens up new opportunities for initiatives to be inspired in their actions and to learn from each other.
    • The framework follows closely the IPCC conceptual framework of risk, which considers three pillars: climate hazards, exposure (of people and natural systems), and vulnerability.
    • The framework incorporates the state-of-the-art statistics on Risk Analytics developed by McKinsey for R2R, covering the three pìllars of climate risk at the Admin 1 level around the globe; statistics that R2R made available to Partner initiatives.
    • The framework provides a robust toolkit including a comprehensive glossary of concepts and the use of internal classifications and typologies on climate hazards, natural systems, labour occupations, sectors, countries, local governments and cities, facilitating the use of available international statistics in targeting climate action and in refining the assessment of impact.

The R2R campaign includes two workstreams, on Metrics and on Transformations. In 2021, 25 partner initiatives joined the Metrics workstream. Of these, 17 were in a position to make their pledges for COP26, 14 of which had pledges on the number of individuals with increased resilience to at least one climate hazard by 2030, for an aggregated total number of 2.3 billion people.

Some examples of pledges received:

  • Deduplicated data shows pledges in at least 127 countries (map), with a few countries with presence in up to 7 partners (such as Perú), and most initiatives pledging to duplicate their territorial coverage by 2030.
  • We have reasons to be optimistic, because partial pledges show averages, per partner, of 38 countries (11 partners), 44 subnational regions (6 partners), and 90 cities (7 partners).
  • Seven initiatives made pledges to act in a total of 629 cities, and five initiatives in 236 companies.
  • Three initiatives were in a position to make pledges regarding natural systems, for a total of at least 102, two of them specifying hectare coverage for a total of 46 million ha.

Future plans

Partner initiatives are committed to reporting every year in two main areas:

  • Refining, scaling, and maybe even expanding their pledges up to 2030.
  • Reporting on all validated outcomes for the given year, which, ideally, implies specifying the number of people and hectares made more resilient in a particular location (country, Admin 1 sub-regional level, city, company or natural system) to specific climate hazards, including the type of climate action.

These metrics will then be compiled and aggregated by CR2, as well as contrasted with Risk Analytics data on exposure. This for three reasons:

  1. As a mechanism for transparency and tracking of the campaign.
  2. To make sure any potential instance of double counting is properly taken into consideration and deduplicated in the aggregate.
  3. To keep track of resilience gaps and resilience convergence at a granular level across the globe, on the basis of contrasting pledges and outcomes to hard data on exposure to climate hazards.

To read more about the metrics framework, please click here.



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