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Engineering Coalition Joins UNFCCC 'Race to Resilience' Campaign

Sept. 22, 2021
By 2030, the International Coalition of Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI) has pledged to have member engineers steer 12,600 projects in 2,000 cities to improve climate resilience.


RESTON, VA, September 20, 2021 – The International Coalition of Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI), of which the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is a founding member, has been accepted as a Partner Initiative for the UNFCCC Race to Resilience global campaign, the sibling campaign of Race to Zero.  

The High-Level Climate Champions Race to Resilience was launched at the Climate Adaptation Summit in January by Alok Sharma, COP26 President-designate, after an opening statement from Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations.

The campaign sets out to catalyse a step change in global ambition for climate resilience, putting people and nature first in pursuit of a sustainable and resilient world where we don’t just survive climate shocks and stresses, but thrive in spite of them. Through a partnership of initiatives, the campaign will focus on helping vulnerable communities to build resilience and adapt to impacts of climate change, such as extreme heat, drought, flooding and sea level rise.

Twenty-four Partner Initiatives have joined the Race to Resilience. These initiatives are made up of over 2,500 non-state actors, taking action in over 100 countries across the campaign's themes of urban, rural and coastal resilience.

Catalysing engineers for climate action

ICSI is the biggest coalition of engineers in the world, influencing the work of over 200,000 engineers in 175+ countries. Because of this, ICSI offers an unparalleled opportunity to act as a catalyst for engaging with the engineering community on the global agenda for climate action and resilience building via the Climate Champions Team and the broader UN climate agreement implementation process.

As a Partner Initiative, ICSI has made the following pledges:

  • By 2021: to secure commitments from minimum 10 of the world’s largest engineering firms and individual commitments from 1,000 engineers globally to the ICSI Pledge;
  • By 2030: ICSI members will have influenced and/or delivered 12,600 projects in 2,000 cities to improve the climate resilience of 400m people.

Accelerating infrastructure resilience

In addition to these, specific actions will be advanced including:

  • To publish Infrastructure Pathways, a resource that brings together stakeholders from across the infrastructure lifecycle to map existing guidance and provide line of sight for practitioners to embed climate resilience within infrastructure. Infrastructure Pathways will deliver a publication and a web-based interactive platform by COP26.
  • To publish a common set of Indicators for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, allowing the engineering community to lead in providing a unified, credible and consistent definition for sustainable and resilient infrastructure and a means – through a common set of indicators – to steer concessional finance toward investing in sustainability and resilience.
  • To publish the Innovation Project Database, which will establish an overview of global climate adaptation innovations, and their best practices and government champions, based on global infrastructure research and unique engineering-based performance criteria. These findings will be communicated as a searchable database designed with a user-friendly framework for any engineering discipline or geographic location.

Tracking progress and demonstrating impact

To monitor progress and demonstrate tangible impact, ICSI will track the following metrics and report progress on an annual basis:

  • The number of engineering companies and individual engineers committed through ICSI’s activities
  • The number and locations of projects that would be influenced/built by these people/organizations
  • The overall projected reduction in vulnerability calculated as number of populations made more resilient by the projects delivered on the ground by engineering companies and infrastructure owners and operators.

The COP26 Resilience Hub will be the home of Race to Resilience and where partners will share, in person and virtually, what actions they are taking to build a resilient and prosperous future.

Find out more about ICSI’s Race to Resilience and see how to get involved here.

  • Read more about UNFCCC Race to Resilience.
  • The International Coalition for Sustainable Infrastructure (ICSI) was founded in 2019 by The Resilience Shift, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and its ASCE Foundation, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), WSP and LA Metro, among others. It aims to bring together the entire value chain of infrastructure and unlock the opportunity of using engineers as a driving force for positive impact and climate action. Read more about ICSI here.
  • Read more about the Infrastructure Pathways project, an initiative by ICSI led by The Resilience Shift in partnership with Arup.
  • The Resilience Shift's strategic partner for Business Resilience, Resilience First, has also been accepted as a partner initiative in the Race to Resilience. Read more about Resilience First.

For more information, please contact Savina Carluccio at [email protected].