By Seth Schultz, CEO of Resilience Rising

Next week, world leaders and experts will come together at Climate Week NYC to raise ambition and drive urgent climate action. The climate crisis is vast, multi-faceted and progressing rapidly, but there is one thing that must underpin all climate solutions – resilience.  

As the Official Resilience Partner of Climate Week NYC, the team at Resilience Rising aims to influence the global agenda and spur systemic change by showcasing resilience as the essential, crucial cross-cutting solution to major societal challenges. Resilience is a complex concept used in many different fields of study to explore how our society, institutions and core systems can withstand, respond, adapt and progress in the face of destabilizing events or phenomena. These challenges can be sudden shock events such as natural disasters, but, crucially, they also come in the form of systemic issues such as housing insecurity, global warming and climate migration, which unfold over longer periods of time.  

The time to act is rapidly closing and no one sector or organization can tackle the world’s biggest problems or deliver the solutions we need alone. By incorporating resilience into all areas of climate action and managing deep uncertainty, we can not only mitigate known risks, but respond to, and recover from, those risks we cannot predict or avoid in our uncertain and complex world. 

At the center of all effective climate action is the need to achieve stability, well-being, security and prosperity – for all people and for our planet. We cannot forge a path toward a thriving and sustainable future without building resilience along the way. As we collaborate on innovative climate solutions next week, let’s ask ourselves: 

  • How do we keep people safe? 
  • How do we recover from disaster? 
  • How do we protect nature? 
  • How do we build resilient, equitable communities? 

Resilience at every level 

From climate change and biodiversity loss to rapid urbanization and digitalization, we are facing an increasingly uncertain, complex and interconnected future – and complex, interconnected challenges require complex, interconnected solutions. We need whole systems thinking and cross-cutting solutions that take resilience into account at every level, in every sector. 

That is the reason we created Resilience Rising – an unprecedented collaboration that brings together six communities of practice we consider essential to building resilience, including businesses, policymakers, engineers, infrastructure owners and operators, and future leaders. By working together instead of in siloes, we aim to catalyze systemic, inclusive and lasting change. 

Resilience cannot be an afterthought. Around the world, we are seeing more and more catastrophic climate impacts each year, particularly in the Global South. Without sufficient resilience planning and policy-making, vulnerable communities, cities, countries and entire regions will continue to face the devastating effects of the climate crisis. Every day that horrific flooding in Pakistan and record-breaking heatwaves in California continue to rage on proves our urgent need for resilience. 

There can be no true successful climate action – no sustainable energy transition, no environmental justice, no climate-safe global food system, no net-zero infrastructure – without resilience. As we look ahead to Climate Week NYC, COP27, and beyond, we urge everyone to join us in this movement for a resilient future for all.  

Resilience Rising is proud to be the Official Resilience Partner of Climate Week NYC. 

This article was originally published on the Climate Week NYC website.

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