ND-GAIN Press Releases
Press Release List
Annual ND-GAIN Country Index reveals biggest movers in climate change adaptation
The ND- Country Index aims to unlock global adaptation solutions that save lives and improve livelihoods while strengthening market positions in the private sector and policy decisions in the public sector. Measuring not only vulnerability but also the readiness to take on investment, it informs strategic, operational and reputational decisions regarding supply chains, capital projects and community engagements. The index includes 21 years of data across 45 indicators for 181 countries. ND- is housed in the Environmental Change Initiative of the University of Notre Dame.
STUDY TO ASSESS CLIMATE RESILIENCY OF MORE THAN 250 US CITIES
The University of Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN) has announced it will assess the climate vulnerability and readiness of every U.S. city with a population over 100,000 – more than 250 in all – in an effort to help inform decisions by city officials on infrastructure, land use, water resources management, transportation and other adaptive strategies.
The Urban Adaptation Assessment (UAA), a 24-month project funded by the Kresge Foundation, will also integrate a social equity analysis, which will investigate how vulnerable groups are disproportionately harmed by climate hazards, such as extreme heat, flooding and extreme cold.
“Today policy choices regarding how to spend scarce resources to adapt to our changing climate must be articulated without the benefit of seeing how alternative choices will influence local inequities,” said Patrick Regan, associate director of ND-GAIN and professor of political science and peace studies at Notre Dame. “Our data-driven tool will help leaders understand the implications of alternative policy choices and pursue decision-making that builds resilient communities.”
ND-GAIN will collaborate with the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment to compile and analyze each city’s data and produce assessments that focus on urban geographies’ vulnerabilities and how ready cities are to successfully implement adaptation solutions. The project will also examine adaptation patterns among coastal, drought-prone and single-industry cities, among other subsets.
“Protecting those least able to withstand climate impacts is a critical part of good adaptation policies,” said Lois DeBacker, managing director of the Kresge Foundation’s Environment Program, which funded ND-GAIN’s pilot study assessing five U.S. cities in 2015. DeBacker said the equity analysis is a particularly important component of adaptation planning. “We’re pleased to be able to support Notre Dame’s work in this area, and thrilled to see it expand to more than 250 municipalities.”
ND-GAIN will build upon its advisory committee of leading U.S. adaptation and social equity experts to include input from city stakeholders and community groups. An online dashboard will also be generated, allowing government, corporate and nonprofit leaders to view the assessments and manipulate the data based on their preferences.
“With the majority of our world’s population residing in cities, urban areas have a unique platform to increase the resilience of our communities, states and eventually our world.” said Meghan Doherty, program director of ND-GAIN. “It is our intention that the Urban Adaptation Assessment will cause a ripple effect of identifying key climate risks and adaptation options, calling out areas of opportunity for investment and prioritizing areas in need of adaptation resources.”
The work will complement a recent report, “Climate Adaptation: The State of Practice in U.S. Communities,” funded by Kresge and authored by Abt Associates.
To learn more about ND-GAIN’s Urban Adaptation Assessment, visit gain.org/UAA.
ND-GAIN works to provide knowledge and human resources that help governments, businesses and communities – especially the most vulnerable – adapt to the world’s changing climate. ND-GAIN is part of the Notre DameEnvironmental Change Initiative.
The Kresge Foundation seeks to help communities build resilience in the face of climate change. As a foundation committed to creating opportunity for low-income people and communities, Kresge is particularly concerned about the disproportionate effect climate change has on people with limited economic resources.
ND-GAIN receives 2015 CCBJ Business Achievement Award
Contact: Joyce Coffee, Managing Director, Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, 312-894-9028, email@example.com
CCBJ recognized ND-GAIN with the NGO Award for achieving a higher profile for analyses of the climate-readiness of nations, and for increasing support for public and private sector leaders to prioritize adaptation and resilience investments.
“Being recognized for leadership in climate adaptation and resilience inspires ND-GAIN to double down on our mission to raise the world's awareness about the need to adapt,” said Joyce Coffee, ND-GAIN managing director. “ND-GAIN looks forward to continuing our leading global work to increase the uptick in investments in vulnerable communities, especially through our current focus on both urban adaptation assessments and the growth of the adaptation market."
ND-GAIN was also honored for:
- Developing a Urban Adaptation Assessment in five pilot cities (Baltimore, Los Angeles, Memphis, Seattle and Davenport)
- Publishing a study of corporate adaptation, in conjunction with Four Twenty Seven and Business for Social Responsibility that identified water scarcity as the top concern of corporations surveyed
- Releasing the 2015 ND-GAIN Country Index, which includes new visualization tools covering 20 years of data across 180 countries
- Hosting global adaptation webinars in Spanish and Mandarin
- Receiving a variety of coverage in the UK newspaper The Independent, BusinessInsider, HuffingtonPost and other media prior to COP21
The 2015 Business Achievement Awards will be presented at Environmental Industry Summit XIV in San Diego, California, on March 9.
About ND-GAIN: Part of the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative, ND-GAIN’s mission is to enhance the world’s understanding of adaptation through knowledge, products and services that inform public and private actions and investments in vulnerable communities.
About EBI: Founded in 1988, Environmental Business International Inc. is a research, publishing and consulting company that specializes in defining emerging markets and generating strategic market intelligence for companies, investors and policymakers. EBI publishes Climate Change Business Journal, which covers nine segments of the Climate Change Industry.
Countries on the rebound making significant climate adaptation progress, ND-GAIN data show
Contact: Joyce Coffee, managing director, Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, 312-894-9028, firstname.lastname@example.org
In the lead-up to 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties ( 21), 10 countries have come from behind to make marked progress in their ability to withstand the shocks and stresses of climate change, while five are distinctly less resilient, according to data released Tuesday (Nov. 17) by the University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-).
Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index honors innovative climate adaptation projects
Climate organizations call for renewed efforts to communicate climate change knowledge and spur action
Contact: Joyce Coffee, managing director, Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, 312 894 9028, email@example.com
ND-GAIN joins researchers examining weather extremes and city infrastructure
The University of Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Index is joining a team of researchers who, with National Science Foundation (NSF) backing, will look at innovative ways of making urban infrastructure more resilient and equitable.
Extreme weather events can cripple crucial infrastructure that enables transit, electricity, water and other services in urban areas. This leaves cities and their citizens cut off and in danger. With weather extremes becoming more common — from devastating hurricanes and flooding to record drought and heat waves — it will be increasingly important to develop infrastructure in different, more sustainable ways.
That is the idea behind a new Urban Resilience to Extreme Weather-Related Events Sustainability Research Network (UREx SRN), recently funded by NSF.
ND-GAIN joins a team led by Arizona State University researchers to participate in the five-year, $12 million Sustainability Research Networks program focusing on urban sustainability.
“Extreme events present a great challenge to global sustainability, and urban areas are particularly vulnerable to these events, often due to their location, interdependent infrastructure and people concentration,” Georgia Kosmopoulou,NSF program director in economics, said. “This SRN team will develop — through a novel, more holistic approach — methods and tools to assess how infrastructure can become more resilient providing ecosystem services in an effort to improve social well-being. The geographical breadth of the proposal is an advantage; cities that represent alternative cultural backgrounds can offer new ideas about socio-ecological-technological infrastructure.”
“The team’s holistic approach to urban infrastructure, evaluating the social, ecological and technical systems related to infrastructure, draws on ND-GAIN’s strengths and helps us to further focus on our efforts to save lives and improve livelihoods,” Joyce Coffee, ND-GAIN’s managing director, said. “The project complements our Urban Adaptation Assessment work and allows us to leverage existing resources to maximize our impact in the U.S.”
ND-GAIN seeking applications for Corporate Adaptation Prize
Contact: Joyce Coffee, managing director, ND-GAIN, 574-807-9322, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN) at the University of Notre Dame is accepting applications for theND-GAIN Corporate Adaptation Prize, which recognizes projects that have made measurable contributions in creating resilience or adaptation to climate change.
Past winners of the prize include PepsiCo, Novartis, Ushahidi, Monsanto and Engineers Without Borders.
This year’s winners will demonstrate meaningful impacts in an emerging economy that decrease vulnerability and increase readiness by enhancing food security, water access, sanitation, coastal protection, ecosystem services, human habitats, infrastructure resiliency or human health, or by improving economic, social or governance function.
Projects must be led by either a multinational corporation or a local corporation working on a project in a lower-income country, and must include collaboration with local partners. Project applications will be judged on their measurable adaptation impact, scalability (relative within their category — multinational or local corporations) and market impact. Prize winners will also be consistent with the University of Notre Dame’s mission.
The judges for this year’s prize include Dan Bena, PepsiCo; Nick Shufro, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Ryan Schuchard, Business for Social Responsibility; Aman Singh, Edelman; Lisa Manley, Edelman; Chris Walker, World Business Council for Sustainable Development; Peter Mulvaney, West Monroe Partners; Carolyn Woo, Catholic Relief Services; Charlie Hough, Novartis; Loren Labovitch, MWH Global; and Dethie S. Ndiaye, Centre Suivi Ecologique.
The prize application is due July 31 (Friday), and the winner(s) and honorable mentions will be announced at an awards event at Climate Week New York in September and to the national and international media.
The simple six-question application can be submitted online at gain.org/nd-gain-prize.
The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index promotes adaptation by identifying the places most vulnerable to extreme weather and changing climate and identifying real-world solutions that can prevent these changes from becoming disasters. Its flagship asset is the free and open-source Country Index, the world’s leading index showing which countries are prepared to handle global changes brought about by overcrowding, resource constraints and climate disruption that ranks countries based on their vulnerability and, uniquely, how ready they are to adapt.
ND-GAIN works with corporate and development leaders to manage risks made worse by climate change. Its efforts include research, measurement and analysis, corporate engagement, and outreach. In addition to the Country Index, ND-GAIN leads an annual State of Corporate Adaptation Survey, to help further collective understanding of best practices, barriers, enablers and strategies to prepare for climate change in the corporate world; awards the ND-GAIN Corporate Adaptation Prize, a yearly prize that recognizes organizations that have made measurable contributions to creating adaptation to climate change; and creates forums for influencers to discuss what is new in adaptation around the globe.
ND-GAIN’s mission is to enhance the world’s understanding of the importance of adaptation and inform private and public investments in vulnerable communities. It is part of the Climate Change Adaptation Program of the University of Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI), a strategic research initiative focused on “science serving society,” and draws resources from across the campus.
Thirty percent of corporations say climate change has impacted business materially
Contact: Joyce Coffee, managing director, Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, 312-894-9028,email@example.com; Aleka Seville, director of advisory services, Four Twenty Seven Inc., 415-722-0836,firstname.lastname@example.org