SRSG Mizutori's remarks at InsuResilience Annual Forum 2021 - Opening day 2

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United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

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SRSG Mizutori Opening Remarks

InsuResilience Annual Forum 2021

Virtual Event, 29 October 2021 (Day 2), 09:15 – 09:25 CEST

Excellencies, Secretaries, and all members and friends of the InsuResilience Global Partnership. It is an honour to welcome you and to open the second day of our virtual event as we move from political ambition to implementation of climate and disaster risk finance and insurance solutions.

Driven by climate and conflict, humanitarian needs are at their highest-ever with one in every 33 people globally in need of assistance and protection. However, every year those needs exceed the humanitarian support raised by the international community.

As highlighted by the recent IPCC report, human-induced climate change is intensifying weather and climate extremes in every region. On top of that, the average global temperature could rise by 1.5°C above the pre-industrial level by the early 2030s, much earlier than predicted.

This year alone, the world has seen devastating floods, droughts, extreme heat, and other hazards interacting with vulnerabilities made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in severe health and economic impacts.

Already approximately 30 percent of the world copes with deadly temperatures for at least 20 days a year, and this number is expected to rise to nearly half of the world’s population even with drastic reductions to carbon emissions.

The pandemic is estimated to have pushed an additional 97 million people into poverty in 2020, and – in combination with extreme weather events – is impacting global hunger and poverty.

Unfortunately, despite a growing acknowledgement of the need to invest more in resilience building, the financing gap for adaptation and disaster risk reduction remains wide, as highlighted by our report on international cooperation launched on 13 October, International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.

But we know that every US$1 invested in risk reduction and prevention can save up to US$15 in post-disaster recovery. And, every US$1 invested in making infrastructure disaster-resilient saves US$4 in reconstruction.

Understanding that risk drivers interact with each other, and managing exposure and vulnerability are essential for development to be sustainable.

In the past year, we have seen that the political ambition to support vulnerable communities has grown. As an international community we have improved our understanding of the positive impact of pre-arranged risk finance and having anticipatory measures in place in case of disasters.

At the same time, we need to push even more for strong implementation and impact, to make this vision of support for vulnerable communities possible.

This is the precise reason why UNDRR is making an appeal to manage the climate emergency through three key actions:

  1. Raise ambition for reducing and managing risks due to climate change: A 50/50 share between adaptation and mitigation in the US$ 100-billion climate finance for developing countries that is required annually.
  2. Significantly increase support for averting, minimizing, and addressing loss and damage​: The full spectrum of risk should be addressed including risks from extreme and slow-onset events triggered by climate change, as well as other hazards.
  3. Accelerate predictable and risk-informed investments and financing: All climate and development investment and financing should be predictable and risk-informed to better respond to longer term planning needs.

UNDRR is turning this call to action into concrete outcomes. For instance,

A comprehensive climate and disaster risk management programme focused on LDCs and SIDS is ensuring that risk assessment is a common basis for development and implementation of disaster risk reduction strategies and national adaptation plans.

Over 110 countries are using disaster loss and damage databases. And over 150 countries are reporting through the online Sendai Framework Monitor on their progress in disaster risk reduction. These mechanisms provide the relevant metrics and data to assess the impact of the climate emergency and to frame pre-emptive action to manage it.

We have strengthened partnerships with the private sector, including the insurance industry, and we are jointly developing indices for risk and resilience.

I am happy to see that these core messages and actions are resonating well with the discussion taking place in this forum.

The InsuResilience Global Partnership brings together over 100 key stakeholders in the Climate and Disaster Risk Finance and Insurance space (CDRFI for short).

CDRFI is one tool to help reduce disaster risk and manage residual impacts after a disaster occurs.

The InsuResilience Global Partnership is working steadily to advance its Vision 2025 and that is an important reason we are here today.

Under the Vision there are many aspirational goals. For example, in 2025, 500 million poor and vulnerable people will be covered against climate and disaster shocks and 80 vulnerable countries will have developed comprehensive disaster risk finance strategies.

This can only happen if political ambition is translated into implementation with a positive impact.

Yesterday, the InsuResilience Annual Forum 2021 hosted a number of high-level leaders’ dialogues on moving the needle for Smart Premium and Capital Support; scaling up CDRFI through public and private sector engagement; mobilizing Risk Pool leaders; and convening two regional sessions focusing on Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.

For the early birds among us and those in the Asia Pacific Region, so far today you have already heard from our members in the Asia Pacific on projects, challenges, and opportunities specific to the region.

Now, let me welcome you to the main body of day 2.

Starting with a session on inclusive insurance and building the resilience of smallholder farmers, a series of breakout sessions will follow. These breakout sessions will focus on key thematic topics that link to climate and disaster risk finance and insurance.

The first block of breakout sessions will focus on digitalization, leveraging private capital, monitoring and evaluating impact and anticipatory action.

The second block of breakout sessions will focus on gender mainstreaming, nature-based solutions, heat stress and adaptation planning.

These are key topics for scaling up solutions, increasing accessibility, and ensuring that solutions have the intended impact. These are key topics for achieving the InsuReslience Vision 2025.

Excellencies, members, colleagues, I invite you to not only participate in the sessions on the second day of the Annual Forum, but also to shape and support actively the Climate and Disaster Risk Landscape to increase knowledge, effectiveness and to find innovative and smart solutions.

I wish us all a fruitful and engaging discussion, that I am sure will continue into COP 26.

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