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New Orleans joins innovative program to address climate resilience and social inequities

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The multi-year, multi-city program aims to develop holistic, ground-level solutions to climate risk and resilience building in vulnerable communities in North America.

April 19, 2022 – NEW ORLEANS – The North America Climate Resilience Program has announced that New Orleans has joined the program as a “Champion City.”

Established in 2021, the program is designed to strengthen climate resilience and help address social inequities in communities where existing stresses combined with growing climate shocks makes them even more vulnerable. The program focuses on two “Action Cities,” Houston and Boston, where it is working with community leaders to provide diagnostic support on analysis of the challenges, tools to measure community resilience, project resources and, ultimately, funds to implement solutions that will incorporate a holistic approach to resilience and social equity.

As a “Champion City,” New Orleans will work alongside the “Action Cities,” sharing experiences and best practices and helping to develop solutions that can be implemented in New Orleans and other cities facing similar climate-related challenges. New Orleans will benefit from local community site visits and tool testing and contribute with the other cities to the learning and implementation over the coming years.

“The City of New Orleans is excited to officially join the North America Climate Resilience Program as a ‘Champion City,’” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “It is critical for cities to be incubators for change, innovation, and resiliency, and it is vital that we have a holistic, multifaceted approach to building more resilient infrastructure. We are at a consequential time in the history of our planet, country, and New Orleans. I am confident that through this initiative, we will continue to come together with other cities to build a better future for those who inhabit this planet in the centuries to come.”

The North America Climate Resilience Program is a collaboration between Zurich North America, Resilient Cities Network and the Z Zurich Foundation, which provided the initial funding. Zurich North America will help administer the overarching program with Resilient Cities Network, which will identify neighborhoods, convene community and government partners, and deploy its Resilient Community Impact Fund to catalyze direct funding support into projects.

“Zurich has been a supporter of the City of New Orleans for a long time—long before we became the title sponsor of the Zurich Classic golf tournament in 2005,” said Brandon Fick, Chief Underwriting Officer for Zurich North America and Zurich’s Executive Sponsor for the North America Climate Resilience Program. “So, we’re pleased that New Orleans will be joining us on this important mission to address climate risk and build resilience, especially for the most vulnerable communities.”

The North America Climate Resilience Program is actively seeking additional investors to fund the work to be done in these communities.

“The North America Climate Resilience Program embraces the role and the voice of the community—many of which are the hardest hit by the growing climate challenges and burdened by long-standing inequities,” said Laurian Farrell, Regional Director for North America, Resilient Cities Network, and lead for the program with Zurich. “When we bring in these voices in New Orleans and elsewhere, we can design and implement resilience solutions is the best way possible, as well as bring in much needed catalytic funding.”

For inquiries about the Resilient Community Impact Fund and further information, please contact Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy, RCIFund project director, Resilient Cities Network, at RCIFund@resilientcitiesnetwork.org, or Andrea Davis, Regional Engagement Manager for the Z Zurich Foundation, at andrea.davis@zurichna.com, and visit the RCIFund landing page here.

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About Zurich 

Zurich North America is one of the largest providers of insurance solutions and services to businesses and individuals. Our customers represent industries ranging from agriculture to technology. Zurich North America is part of Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich), a leading multi-line insurer serving more than 55 million customers – both people and businesses – in more than 210 countries and territories. Founded 150 years ago, Zurich is transforming insurance. In addition to providing insurance protection, Zurich is increasingly offering prevention services such as those that promote wellbeing and enhance climate resilience. Reflecting its purpose "to create a brighter future together," Zurich aspires to be one of the most responsible and impactful businesses in the world. It is targeting net-zero emissions by 2050 and is one of the world's most sustainable insurers, as shown by the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment. In 2020, Zurich launched the Zurich Forest project to support reforestation and biodiversity restoration in Brazil. The Group has about 56,000 employees and is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN) is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information is available at www.zurich.com and www.zurichna.com

About Z Zurich Foundation

The Z Zurich Foundation works alongside Zurich Insurance Group employees and other stakeholders as well as with governments and NGOs in pursuit of a future where people can thrive in the face of increasing climate hazards, where those of us feeling the stresses of life are empowered to speak up, and where the marginalized in our society can reach their full potential. The Z Zurich Foundation is a Swiss-based charitable foundation established by members of the Zurich Insurance Group. It is the main vehicle by which Zurich Insurance Group delivers on its global community investment strategy. For more information, visit the Foundation’s website: https://zurich.foundation.

About Resilient Cities Network

Resilient Cities Network is a global city-led non-profit organization that brings together knowledge, practice, partnerships, and funding to empower cities to help them build a safe, equitable, and sustainable future for all. The Network integrates the combined effort of urban practitioners, city governments, and communities in a collective, comprehens

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