What is Climate Resilience, and Why Does it Matter?

The scientific evidence is overwhelming: The climate is changing, and human activity is the primary factor in the acceleration of climate change over the past century. Regardless of how successful humans are at limiting the root causes of our warming planet, society is facing significant impacts—from more frequent and severe weather, ocean warming and acidification, extended periods of drought and extreme temperatures, and other deleterious effects of climate change. The ability to prepare for, recover from, and adapt to these impacts is called “climate resilience.”

Resilience is an increasingly common word in the climate change vernacular. Extreme weather events have shown that resilience is an essential component of any comprehensive climate action program because climate change is both a global and a hyper-local issue. The causes and the broad impacts affect everyone on the planet, but resilience efforts must be executed at the asset, neighborhood, or individual level. It will take a combined and coordinated effort, like none ever seen before, to address this issue. The good news is that addressing these risks can not only protect people and property, but also generate economic activity that will create domestic jobs and drive prosperity.