Sharm El Sheikh -R-Cities. Cities are crucial agents of climate action, and at COP27 Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities) will work alongside other city networks to showcase the innovative steps cities around the world are taking to combat climate change and increase resilience. Only 10% of climate investments currently reach the local level, and most do not reach the areas most in need. To be successful in their efforts to tackle the climate crisis, national governments must ensure that cities are empowered and financially enabled to enact resilience-focused climate solutions.
Whether you are reporting from COP27 on site or remotely the following information has been created to make your workflow as easy as possible.
If you are interested in integrating local stories into your reporting, we can connect you with Chief Resilient Officers from 6 regions around the globe.
We have a dedicated website for COP27 where you will find up-to-date information.
Please contact @Thomas Halaczinsky for any questions or if to schedule an interview with one of our COP attendees or any of our network CROs.
R-Cities will be participating in almost 20 events representing 98 cities from our 6 global regions. Due to the location of COP27, as well as the urgent need to advance adaptation and mitigation across the African continent, much of our participation and content will work to showcase and advocate for African Cities.
Who we are:
Resilient Cities Network (R-Cities) is the world’s leading urban resilience network. Present in 98 cities, 40 countries and 6 continents, R-Cities is a global city-led non-profit organization that brings together knowledge, practice, partnerships, and funding to empower cities to build a safe, equitable and sustainable future for all. We work in three primary delivery areas to support our global city network: empowering through our network of Chief Resilience Officers (CROs) and Communities of Practice; implementing specific urban resilience solutions through a set of multi-city programs; and mobilizing through our public and private sector partnerships creating and communicating knowledge.
Resilient Cities Network at COP27
Focus on Solutions
- The time has come to move past pledges and towards solutions. We will be showcasing innovative and scalable resilience solutions already implemented by cities to address the climate crisis.
- Discuss how global city networks can develop financing mechanisms together with the international finance community and other partners that directly support cities in continuing to deliver on the climate agenda.
- Central to R-Cities work at COP27 will be ensuring that we uphold our mission to improve the lives of 220 M urban dwellers around the world especially in the cities most vulnerable to climate change across Africa, Asia, and the global south. This includes involving Egyptian and African cities in upcoming resilience programmatic work, in line with their resilience priorities and engaging a first cohort of African cities in new funding and financing vehicles.
Through every project we support, every solution we help design and finance– we aim to put equity and just transition at the center.
Resilient Cities will be participating in events between Nov 7 – Nov 17th.
Most events will take place in the Blue Zone, accessible only for accredited journalists. Some of these events will be streamed and available online.
Below is a tentative schedule of events. You can find an up-to-date schedule at our COP 27 website.
Lauren Sorkin, Executive Director of the Resilient Cities Network. Lauren leads the global efforts in 100 cities in over 40 countries to deal with complex challenges including climate change, access to equitable opportunities and promoting a circular economy. Lauren serves as an advisor and spokesperson on urban resilience, women’s leadership sustainable finance, climate risk, and urbanization trends.
She is on the Advisory Board of Food Tank, Natural Capital and Smart Cities World Editorial. Previously with the ADB, Lauren led the Bank’s first climate change investment plan, before mainstreaming climate risks and opportunities for Vietnam’s US$7 billion portfolio.
Earlier in her career, she delivered clean energy, climate change and conservation projects in Asia, Africa, and South America.
Lauren is available for interviews, including TV (live or live on tape)
- Climate financing
- The role of cities in advancing climate action
Dana Omran, Global Director, Strategy and Operations and Regional Director, Africa, R-Cities. Dana leads the resilience practice in Africa for the Resilient Cities Network. She also oversees R-Cities’ strategy and operations. Dana joined R-Cities after spending almost a decade with The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation working in financial and private sector development.
At The World Bank, Dana led the global research team responsible for benchmarking construction and urban planning regulations in 183 countries for the flagship Doing Business report. In addition to her work in international development, Dana has advised several start-ups and worked on a presidential campaign in her native Egypt.
Dana holds an MA in International Security Studies from Georgetown University. She received a BSc in Science and Technology in International Affairs and a certificate in Contemporary Arab Studies from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Dana is available for interviews, including TV (live or live on tape)
- Africa adaptation
Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy, Global Director, Policy, and Investments at the Resilient Cities Network, oversees the Resilient Community Impact Funds and facilitates the Resilience 21 Coalition.
Prior to joining R-Cities, Stewart served on President Obama’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force and was Director of the Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. He is an Ocean Fellow for the Northeast Maritime Institute’s Center for Ocean Policy and Economics, Steering Committee Member for the Ocean Sewage Alliance, Senior Advisor for the Global Island Partnership, member of the advisory committee for SeaAhead, and member of the board of directors for Four Bands Community Fund.
Stewart is the founder of Precovery Labs, where creativity and community drive impact and awareness. He has taught as guest lecturer and adjunct professor at the International University of Catalunya and the Cheyenne River Tribal College/Si Tanka University. Stewart has a long history of work with indigenous communities, particularly in the areas of community finance and economic sovereignty.
Stewart is available for interviews, including TV (live or live on tape)
- Coastal Adaptation
- Circularity and Waste Management
- Climate Financing
Daniel Stander, is the Deputy Chair of the Rockefeller-funded Resilient Cities Network, working with mayors and chief resilience officers in 100 cities across 40 countries to finance and deliver their resilience strategies. Daniel has over 20 years of experience at the interface of risk, innovation and finance. He has worked on every continent, advising public and private entities on a variety of business and policy matters. He is a pioneer of #ResilienceFinance, using technology and financial product innovation to help capital find responsible investments in the face of climate and other extremes. Daniel serves as a special advisor to two United Nations agencies (UNDRR and UNDP) on matters of risk, finance and innovation.
Daniel is available for interviews, including TV (live or live on tape)
- Climate Resilience
- Resilience financing
- Risk Management Solutions
- Resilience Policies
- Climate Finance
Key Programs we will be talking about at COP27
Urban Water Resilience
The climate crisis is a water crisis that threatens the well-being of people and the planet. Safe and reliable access to water and sanitation in the face of rising temperatures and increasingly extreme weather is crucial to ensuring education, job opportunities, equity and much more. As a vital human need, water has been central to decisions as to where cities originate, how much they grow and the standard of living of inhabitants. Urban resilience cannot be achieved and sustained without water resilience. Cities need both continual availability, and protection from its potential impacts. However, the scale and complexity of this need presents new challenges to decision makers in government, civil society and the private sector. Supporting cities to improve urban water management and to build their capacity to respond, adapt and transform in the face of water related shocks and stresses is one of R-Cities’ core priorities.
While awareness of greater water-related business risks driven by climate change has grown and the need for water security has gained attention, the topic of building resilience is often seen in competition for attention and resources with sustainable development priorities. Cities have the power to shift how things are done, decisions are taken and investments are made. Water can serve as an enabler and multiplier to shape their urban transition in a sustainable future.
Along with the World Resources Institute, Arup, The Resilience Shift and others, R-Cities is advancing a global urban water resilience agenda, developing a platform to mobilize cities and partners, accelerate action and increase access to funding and financing.
Urban Eats – Circular Food for Resilient Cities
Urban Eats is R-Cities first resilience campaign to call on cities to urgently pivot towards resilient, healthy, and regenerative food systems that anticipate, cope and adapt to the threats and impacts from multiple risks in order to cope with the increasing demand for food. Given that 80% of all food will be consumed in cities by 2050, cities need to support the shift towards a regenerative system fit for the long term. By advancing circular practices, cities can increase the resilience and diversity of supply chains by sourcing food grown regeneratively, and locally where appropriate, design and market healthier food, design out food waste and make the most of food. These practices can result in reductions to annual emissions by 1.4 billion tons by 2050, which accounts for more than the entire air travel industry’s emissions.
Urban Ocean – Clean Healthy Seas for Clean Healthy Cities
Urban Ocean supports cities in Asia and Latin America to improve urban waste management that will result in reduced plastic leakage into the environment, water bodies, rivers, and the ocean. Using the principles of circularity, it will demonstrate how actions targeted at integrated waste management can enhance urban resilience, create jobs, grow the economy, and improve and protect our environment. Urban Ocean is jointly implemented by Ocean Conservancy, the Circulate Initiative and Resilient Cities Network. First Cohort of Cities: Can Tho, Vietnam; Melaka, Malaysia; Panama City, Panama; Pune, India; Semarang, Cenral Java; Mumbai, India; Santiago, Chile; Surat, India.
Resilient Cities Shaping a Digital World
Digital inclusion has gained relevance as an enabler of resilience in recent years, due to its potential to integrate, amplify, and innovate diverse public and social services that are key to people’s well-being. Digitalization has taken an even greater leap forward due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as people have started changing the way they access services, interact, and navigate spaces.
After a successful first phase, Visa and the Resilient Cities Network are scaling up the Resilient Cities Shaping a Digital World program to promote inclusive digitalization and urban resilience for local economies globally. This new phase will enable them to support up to 11 cities around the world in three main areas: innovative urban mobility, data for decision-making and digital payments for a resilient economy. The program will also provide knowledge sharing and insights for our member cities, a leap forward to closing the digital equity gap globally.
Resilient Community Impact Funds – (RCIFunds)
RCIFunds is an emerging funding platform, with its first global call for co-funding in 2022. The RCIFunds platform brings together public and private partners to secure a resilient future in our cities through building holistic, equitable projects at a variety of scales that generate measurable reductions in vulnerability around the world. Capitalizing on seed funding secured in late 2021, the RCIFunds is expanding themes and geographies with specific announcements during COP27.
Through RCIFunds, we leverage funding from local and global institutions for projects designed to deliver co-benefits for realizing a return on resilience value in our cities for key projects. Funding can support project preparation, innovative pilots, and small to medium-scale projects, as well as act to further leverage and layer funding on the ground for larger projects from key financing and grant-making stakeholders, like those partners at COP27.
Coastal Cities Resilience Investment Protocol
With the objective to deliver on the Race to Resilience’s target of making 4 billion people more resilient by 2030, the High-Level Climate Champions, the Ocean and Climate Platform, Resilient Cities Network and ICLEI are partnering to unlock financial flows that promote coastal resilience solutions for cities, communities and regions. To tackle the dual challenges of setting up innovative, scalable and bankable adaptation and resilience projects in coastal cities while securing private and public capital at a variety of stages and vehicles, the approach is to develop a Coastal Cities Resilience Investment Protocol to help address structural barriers and provide an avenue for “radical collaboration’’ among key private and public financial institutions, relevant blue economy industries and coastal cities.
Announced at the UN Ocean Conference in June 2022, one of the key pillars of the Protocol include a “Blue-tinted White Paper” for release and discussion by the partnership in the weeks before COP27. Another pillar is the establishment of the “Resilient Ocean and Coastal Cities Fund” under the RCIFunds platform at R-Cities, nestled within the larger funding and financing sectors and donor typologies.
Urban Power – Renewable Energy Transition
Achieving urban resilience means designing systems that not only secure cities against future shocks and stresses but work to redress urban inequity. For our energy systems, this means shaping networks that anticipate future challenges while eliminating gaps in energy distribution and provision.
Through our Urban Power program, we build the capacity of member cities to respond to shocks and stresses while managing the shift to an equitable, low-carbon economy.
The program is supported by the Rockefeller Foundation through the Global Alliance for Energy for People and Planet and S&P Global Foundation. Developing partnerships across sectors and multiple urban systems, cities will leverage innovative tools and approaches to build resilience in urban energy systems, achieve a green and equitable recovery from the pandemic, reach their net-zero ambitions and develop projects that deliver multiple resilience co-benefits.
Piloting assessment tools and frameworks in: Brazil, Mexico, India, South Africa & USA
Developing energy transition projects in: Cape Town, Lagos, Cali, and Rio de Janeiro
Resilient Cities Network Speakers and Events
Schedule of events
Please see our COP27 website for a full schedule of the events we’ll be attending.
For more information or to request an interview, please contact:
Thomas Halaczinsky, New York
Media Consultant, Resilient Cities Network
+1 347 985 6885