The recent increase in the frequency of extreme weather events has shown that the capability of public administration bodies in terms of prevention and management of emergencies is limited.
At the same time, SMEs often do not have adequate skills in risk assessment and risk management. Even if a risk management plan does exist, weather events are rarely taken into consideration (Ace European Risk Briefing, 2012).
These factors imply that the economy and the society in general are increasingly vulnerable to climate change, suggesting at the same time a consistent environmental risk (e.g. liquid spills, waste management of aggregates and rubble from buildings, emission of air pollutants, etc.). In addition, the risk is even greater considering that SMEs in Italy are generally located in urban areas.
Insurance companies have the know-how, the experience, and the tools to evaluate risks related â among others â to climate events and to implement specific interventions with a view to reducing consequent damages and losses. Urban adaptation processes could be highly improved in the Italian context through a partnership between the public sector, SMEs and insurance companies. United by a common interest in reducing the risk and cost of climate change, this partnership could be a win-win cooperation to improve societyâs resilience and reduce insurersâ exposure to risk.
The specific objectives of the LIFE DERRIS project are to:
Transfer knowledge from insurance companies to public administrations and SMEs in terms of risk assessment and risk management for catastrophic weather events in order to create âresilient companiesâ, boosting the implementation of effective local adaptation plans;
Disseminate evaluation tools and skills for risk prevention developed by the insurance industry among public administration bodies and SMEs;
Implement innovative forms of public-private governance for climate catastrophes, involving SMEs, public administration bodies and insurance companies, consistent with European guidelines (EU Adaptation Strategy and Green Paper on the insurance of natural and man-made disasters) and favouring the regulatory approach already undertaken by several European countries; and
Test the adoption of innovative financial instruments (e.g. impact investment) as novel adaptation solutions.
The main expected result is an increased adaptation capability of enterprises (specifically SMEs) and public administrations, particularly in industrial urban areas, that will result in a reduction of the overall risk, generating benefits for society as a whole.
Moreover, the design and test of financial instruments to support climate adaptation investments and actions could be a great support and incentive to spread resilience across a wider base.
SMEs will become more resilient increasing their capability to assess and manage the risks related to climate disasters, especially improving their skills and knowledge in terms of emergency management and recovery capability.
Public administrations will improve their governance capability of the territory by adopting faster and more effective operational tools and favouring the implementation of adaptation strategies and adaptation plans, boosting the European âMayors Adaptâ initiative.
Furthermore, the project will develop some specific tools that will be disseminated at a later stage at national and European level:
The âClimate Risk Assessment and Management Toolâ (CRAM Tool) will initially be used by 30 pilot SMEs identified in the industrial district in Turin and will then be made publicly available on the project website; and
The âCompany Adaptation Action Planâ (CAAP), implemented by the adaptation manager (a new position to be defined within the SMEs), will reduce the risk to which SMEs are exposed;
The âIntegrated District Adaptation Planâ (IDAP), an innovative integrated action plan for industrial districts, will involve private and public entities for a better governance of the territory; and
A financial instrument, most likely an impact fund, will favour the implementation of resilience measures.During the project, 30 pilot CAAPs are foreseen, implementing about 600 adaptation measures. The major systemic interventions will be contained in the IDAP that will be implemented in the pilot district of Turin.
In the long term, the potential number of enterprises that will use the CRAM Tool (assuming a 20% uptake by the beneficiary's clients) could reach 183 000 with a total annual turnover of â¬91 380.36 million and a total annual added value of â¬18 276.07 million, involving 550 000 employees.
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