Ready-to-Fund Resilience Toolkit
The Ready-to-Fund Resilience Toolkit was created through a partnership between the American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP) and Climate Resilience Consulting (CRC). The work was supported by a grant from the Climate Resilience Fund’s Coordination and Collaboration in the Resilience Ecosystem Program.
This toolkit describes “how” local government leads and partners can design more fundable projects by pulling specific policy levers, seeking key partnerships, using innovative accounting practices, inverting power structures, and rethinking and redesigning internal processes. It will help local government leads and partners operate within current finance and policy systems to better prepare themselves and their communities for climate resilience funding and finance.
Projects that are ready to secure resilience funding and finance are those which benefit from collaborative partnerships, use intentional processes, use comprehensive accounting practices, and benefit from enabling regulatory and policy frameworks. This tool covers ten characteristics of ready-to-fund resilience projects.
This toolkit applies to a variety of types of resilience projects, from “traditional” grey infrastructure to green infrastructure and social infrastructure. It supports local government practitioners to:
- More effectively operate within the resilience funding and finance system.
- Better prepare themselves to receive funding and finance for climate resilience-building.
- Create equity through resilience funding and finance.
Momentum is rising for climate resilience-building. In 2020, the U.S. incurred 22 billion-dollar disasters and forecasts signal continually rising disaster costs, regardless of the scale of mitigation that occurs. In tandem, deep social inequities and racial injustices inhibit otherwise capable communities from thriving. The obligation to mitigate damage and transform into a just and equitable society has triggered a movement to build more green, vibrant, and equitable local governments. While the unavoidable costs may be the primary drivers for action, the transformational opportunities and myriad community benefits that we can create provide deep motivation to continue this work.
Still, desires and plans for change often fall short of mobilizing action. Making the business case and securing climate resilience financing are the most common inhibiting factors. This guide can help increase climate resilience and create thriving, just, and equitable communities by securing funding and finance for the physical and social infrastructure necessary for climate resilient communities.
However, just securing funding and finance is not enough. Investments do not produce resilient systems if they bolster the well-being of one community while further exposing groups already at risk disproportionately to climate impacts. Widespread discrimination, promoted by histories of colonialism, white supremacy, domination of nature, and economic exploitation have created systems that inhibit otherwise capable communities from thriving. Climate change exacerbates these inequities and those who are the least responsible for climate change are often the most impacted. Wealth often generates more wealth. Reactive disaster management funds often repay communities for the wealth they possessed, perpetuating socioeconomic disparities. Lower-to-middle-income and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities often residing at the front lines of climate change are often viewed as lesser priorities for climate resilience investment.
Deepening our understanding of these conditions creates an imperative to transform our social and economic system. What we do with climate resilience-building funds and financing resources will prove highly influential in determining what kind of communities we live in five, 10, or even 50 years from now. Accordingly, this guide addresses equity throughout all components of climate resilience funding and finance.
The insights in this guide support the creation of vibrant, equitable, and resilient local governments rather than temporary ‘fixes’ that perpetuate the status quo. To fully act on these insights, we need a stronger enabling environment for both public and private funding and finance via updated policy, regulation, changed collaboration processes, and new approaches to financial analysis. The characteristics discussed in this guide offer insight into what a positive enabling environment looks like as well as action opportunities to bring climate resilience funding and finance strategies to the next level by changing the policy environment.
This guide is part of Climate Resilience Fund's (CRF) Coordination and Collaboration in the Resilience Ecosystem (CCRE) program, which awards grants to projects that support the development of the tools, services and resources that practitioners have identified as essential to scaling the efforts and catalyzing the investment needed to increase resilience to climate-related impacts across the United States.
This toolkit was developed for:
- Small- and-mid-sized local government practitioners working on resilience.
- Small- and-mid-sized local government department leads with power over, and a stake in, climate resilience funding and finance.
- Organizations and government bodies with the capacity and jurisdiction to support local government climate resilience funding and finance through policy, resources, technical assistance, partnerships, or process change.
We refer to this audience collectively as “local government leads and partners”.