Resilience in light of COVID-19: climate action on the road to COP26


The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital importance of resilience. This event served as a framing event for resilience at London Climate Action Week.

UN climate change conference (COP26)
A series of pages related to IIED's activities at the 2021 UNFCCC climate change summit in Glasgow
Last updated 6 July 2020
Logo for London climate action week event

This event was organised in partnership (Image: London Climate Action Week)

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought concerns about resilience to the fore in an unprecedented way. The pandemic has laid bare the vulnerability of health systems and economies, substantiating concerns about resilience more broadly to external shocks.

Given the immense losses that could be avoided by delivering resilience, policymakers aim to prioritise resilience across different dimensions, including: climate, health, development, investment, peace and security.

This event served a framing event for resilience at London Climate Action Week (LCAW). It articulated the importance of resilience across agendas and showcased leading perspectives on resilience from LCAW 2020, emphasising the need for ambitious public policy commitments on climate adaptation and resilience in the near term, and exploring what action can be taken in the run-up to COP26 with a view to setting up action over the course of this decade.

The event was co-hosted by E3G and IIED in partnership with the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), the Global Resilience Partnership (GRP), and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Event coverage

Speaking during the event, COP26 President-designate Alok Sharma said the world does "not have the luxury of time" to take urgent action to address the climate crisis. Read a full report of the discussion.

You can see a video recording of the complete event below, including the question-and-answer session with webinar participants, and on IIED's YouTube channel.

The precise times in the video for comments by each speaker are listed and linked in brackets below.  

Outline programme

Introduction and opening remarks

Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) (00:26)

Keynote address

Alok Sharma, president-designate for COP26, and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, UK (07:23)

Keynote address

Jeanne d'Arc Mujawamariya, Minister of Environment, Rwanda (15:40)

Panel 1

Nick Mabey (moderator) is chief executive and a founder director of E3G, a non-profit European organisation dedicated to accelerating the transition to sustainable development (26:05)

Professor Sir Andy Haines – former director, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (31:35)

Emma Howard-Boyd – chair, UK Environment Agency; and commissioner, Global Commission on Adaptation (35:35)

Saleemul Huq – director International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD); and advisor, Climate Vulnerable Forum (41:09)

Sheela Patel – Founder-director, the Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centres (SPARC); and commissioner, Global Commission on Adaptation (47:21)

Dan Smith – director, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) (53:06)

Panel 2

Andrew Norton (moderator) is director of IIED. He is an applied anthropologist working on a range of issues related to social and environmental justice (1:09:29)

Dr. Amal-Lee Amin – director, Climate Change, CDC and COP26 Unit, Cabinet Office (1:13:24)

Prema Gopalan – founder and executive director, Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) (1:20:08)

Carlos Sanchez – director, Climate Resilience Investment, Willis Towers Watson (1:27:09)

Tenzin Wangmo - lead negotiator for the Least Developed Countries Group under the UNFCCC (1:33:44)

Professor Mizan Khan - programme director of LDC University Consortium on Climate Change (LUCCC) (1:39:53)

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Juliette Tunstall ([email protected]), internal engagement and external events officer