Climate resilience is an economic, social and environmental imperative. We know climate preparedness pays back while making business sense, strengthening communities and saving lives. We also know that for every $1 spent on disaster preparedness, we save $6 in avoided costs. That’s a testament to the return on investment of resiliency solutions.

Governments must provide the leadership to make a transformative change and policy changes needed to forge stronger, climate-resilient communities. Smart public policies at all levels (international, federal, state and local) will be critical for creating the enabling environment to accelerate solutions and foster collaboration across the private sector, science, technology advancements, academia, and NGOs. Governments have united to address climate change as evidenced by the historic Paris Accord of 2015. The mitigation goals–informed by the findings of the scientists working at the IPCC, and the Nationally Determined Commitments that are monitored and reported to the UN to measure progress–have been the product of 194 governments of the world.

At the recent UN Conference of Parties in Poland, the governments placed adaptation on a par with mitigation. The ongoing and growing disasters caused by climate change require new climate resilient strategies to build back better. Efforts like GCCR are bolstered by the leadership of policymakers who are taking action to create more prepared countries that can bounce back from extreme weather, energy, and economic challenges.

As this movement builds, we’re coalescing around a common language for risk and vulnerability. We’ll work with lawmakers on identifying and developing the tools to get us there — the plans, the metrics, the standards, and the best practices. We will also continue to marshal the data and the evidence to demonstrate how preparedness pays back.

GCCR will work with governments around the world, both the executive and the legislative branches, to address the best ways for communities, cities, states, and national governments to withstand the climate change disasters. In the long term, we need to think about how to institutionalize holistic, systems approach solutions and create a new paradigm of climate resilience.

Toward that goal, the GCCR will be garnering support for a new and innovative National Institute for Climate Resilience, an independent, nonpartisan entity designed to provide an enduring institutional foundation for how our nation plans for disasters and prepares for changing temperatures, stronger storms, longer droughts, and increased flooding. A National Institute for Climate Resilience would establish a technical and analytical center of gravity across government, helping us better prepare for the circumstances of tomorrow and be more able to bounce back when these tragic events do occur.

GCCR will also work closely with the various initiatives of the Secretary-General of the United Nations as well as the associated UN agencies who have taken leadership roles on climate and resilience.