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Our Mission

RESILE will be an interdisciplinary, high-impact research initiative that integrates data science and modeling, risk assessment and decision theory, and economic and policy analysis to develop and promote innovative and actionable strategies, products, and practices to address climate risk. By disseminating the knowledge and tools produced by these efforts to communities, policymakers, businesses, and individuals, RESILE will enhance climate decision-making and foster resilience on a national scale.


Climate change poses multiple, interacting risks to the well-being of humans and the environment which are only expected to intensify with additional warming. Reduction of CO2 emissions must remain the primary policy goal, as this is the only means for addressing the root cause of climate change. However, it is becoming increasingly likely that global warming will exceed the 1.5 or 2°C targets specified in the Paris Agreement. Further, as CO2 has a long lifetime in the atmosphere, temperature can be expected to remain elevated for centuries in the absence of net negative emissions. It is therefore urgent that we develop approaches for managing the risks of climate change that can no longer be avoided through emissions reductions alone.

Managing risk is of course the raison d’être of the insurance industry. Yet, climate risk poses some unique challenges. For one, reliably forecasting the full scope of climate exposure at a local scale remains difficult due to the non-linear and interconnected nature of climate risks, the uncertainty of global climate scenarios, and the lack of relevant historical data. However, even if precise prediction of future risks were possible, the economics and politics of present-day insurance markets would likely still struggle to balance consumers’ interests in access and affordability against insurers’ need for solvency protection and profitable capital allocations. The consequences of this balancing act – felt most acutely by lower-income populations – are already evidenced by the recent decisions of some insurance companies to withdraw from certain high-exposure markets.

Based on engagements with leaders of some of the most forward-looking insurance, re-insurance, catastrophe modeling, and data services firms, we believe that addressing climate risk requires innovations across the insurance, finance, and infrastructure sectors that align products and practices with the scope and scale of climate change. This means advancing solutions at a systems level that not only provide financial protection in times of crisis, but also incentivize societal risk reduction, safeguard vulnerable communities, and catalyze the development and deployment of climate solutions by other sectors with synergistic risk management capabilities. We see a clear need for a science-based, university-led Center to undertake the research, reporting, and convening activities that are required to foster these innovations.