Where to find IIED and partners at COP26: event listing


This page lists a selection of the events and places where IIED and partners could be found in the Green Zone, Blue Zone and outside of COP26 during the 2021 climate change negotiations in Glasgow, including recordings of events where available

Glasgow, Scotland, and online
UN climate change conference (COP26)
A series of pages related to IIED's activities at the 2021 UNFCCC climate change summit in Glasgow
Last updated 7 January 2022
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Sonam P Wangdi, chair of the Least Developed Countries Group under the UNFCCC, welcomes delegates to Glasgow the week before the start of COP26 (Photo: Anna Schulz, IIED)

Throughout the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), IIED researchers and partners were present at dozens of events in person and online. 

Among IIED's key areas of focus were getting climate finance to the local level and supporting negotiators from the least developed countries (LDCs).

We also had an extensive programme of events on locally-led climate action, nature-based solutions, climate finance and more at the Resilience Hub and Development and Climate Days.

COP 26 Green Zone

Youth groups, civil society, academia, artists, business from across the UK and all over the world hosted over 200 events, exhibitions, cultural performances, workshops and talks in the COP26 Green Zone, at the Glasgow Science Centre.

On this page are listed all the events IIED and our partners were involved in throughout the conference. This page has been updated to include links to recordings of the events where available.

Monday, 1 November 2021

Glasgow Climate Dialogues – expectations of COP26 and beyond

Public event
Venue: The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU
Hosted by: Scottish government, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland, with IIED

At COP26, reviewing expectations is important. Earlier this year the Scottish government and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland convened a series of virtual engagements where stakeholders from the global South, along with Scottish and international organisations, discussed expectations and key priorities for COP26 and beyond. 

At this meeting, representatives of those involved in the dialogues from the global South set out their expectations of COP26 and the ways in which Scotland can contribute to the global ambitions in the Paris Agreement.

Related reading: Glasgow Climate Dialogues Communiqué

A global tour of local government authorities implementing an inclusive locally-led adaptation

Resilience Hub
Hosted by: IIED, Climate Investment Funds, International Development Enterprises

Although there is growing recognition of the important role local government authorities play in leading adaptation efforts, there remain doubts over how to channel resources to them, what approaches work in practice, and how they can be scaled.

Approaches from Cambodia, Zambia, Nepal, Bangladesh, The Gambia, Mozambique, Mali and Senegal showcased how local government authorities are successfully implementing inclusive climate adaptation at the local level – and in doing so, addressing the root causes of climate vulnerability and inequality.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021 

Urban informality and inequality – a call for global climate justice 

Green Zone event
Hosted by: Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF), Cities Alliance and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) 

IIED’s director of human settlements, David Dodman, joined this event that brought together international speakers from local and city governments, central governments, research communities and civil society to discuss climate justice and the importance of taking account of the cumulative risks created by conditions of urban informality, inequality and climate vulnerability in developing effective responses to climate change. It identified priorities for action and the role that researchers, civil society actors, city governments and policymakers can play in strengthening local action for sustainable climate justice. 

The event offered an opportunity to help shape critical policy and research priorities for addressing climate change equitably in cities – where informality and inequality are the reality.

Related reading: Street vendors and garbage pickers need protection from climate extremes

Making the last mile the first mile

Pavilion event
Hosted by: ACCESS Coalition, WISIONS Initiative, and IIED

Increasing the inclusiveness of energy access strategies and putting people at the centre of efforts to deliver universal energy access are key stated priorities springing from this year’s High Level Dialogue on Energy. This highlighted that universal access to energy must be positioned as an integral part of just energy transitions to ensure energy access efforts avoid carbon lock-in. But what lessons can we learn from existing initiatives that aim to advance just energy transitions and that engage people as 'co-creators of future energy systems'? What practical challenges are they facing? 

This side event showcased experiences and research on efforts that seek to engage deeply with communities and energy users within the planning and implementation of energy transitions. It also put a spotlight on the crucial role that civil society organisations and local communities play in delivering inclusive energy access that is integrated into wider development and just transition efforts. The event featured the experiences of members of the ACCESS coalition as well as of other networks of practitioners in the co-design of inclusive energy access initiatives, and identify crucial challenges they face.

Related reading: Productive uses of energy for resilient livelihoods in LDCs | Inclusive finance for universal energy access

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

Pathways to finance – challenges and opportunities for accessing finance for locally-led adaptation

Resilience Hub
Organised by: IIED, International Centre for Climate Change and Development

This locally-led adaptation (LLA) themed session focused on the connection of access to climate finance and financing LLA – sometimes referred to as the ‘missing middle’. Panellists, including Fundecooperación from Costa Rica, South Africa’s National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) from Bangladesh, reflected on and discussed the various challenges, opportunities and enablers for improving access to climate finance for LLA.

Panellists were joined by a member of the UK government's Taskforce on Access to Climate Finance to respond to the panellist discussion and detail what the taskforce intends to do to transform access to climate finance for LLA.

Related reading: Principles for locally-led adaptation | Raising ambition in locally-led action for 2021: calling for business unusual

High level dialogue: debt Swaps for climate and nature – a strategic approach to urgent global goals 

Resilience Hub

Developing countries are suffering from the triple crisis of debt, climate change and nature loss. Debt for climate and nature swaps can provide fiscal space and address the climate financing gap across developing countries.

This session facilitate a dialogue between debtor governments and creditors to reach political commitments for more large scale, programmatic debt swaps for climate and nature.

From debtors, the event involved ministries of finance from developing countries and identified their needs for fiscal space and poverty reducing and growth enhancing investment in climate and nature action. For creditors, developing country sovereign debt is held by a wide range of stakeholders including bilateral, such as China and multilateral donors and private investors. This means that efforts to address debt stress and negotiate debt for climate and nature swaps are more complex.

High level dialogue: How can governments from Africa, Asia and Latin America increase funding for resilience through their national budgets?

Resilience Hub
Organised by: Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative, IIED, World Resources Institute, Climate Finance Group of Latin America and the Caribbean

Financing climate resilience and adaptation is vital for sustainable and inclusive development. Even with the ambitious target of 1.5°C global warming, significant changes to climatic-impact drivers are expected posing significant risks to vulnerable populations. This session explored some of the domestic financing sources and mechanisms that governments have tapped into, which have been channeled through the national budget to finance climate resilience.

Financing locally-led climate action

Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) Pavilion
Hosted by: Government of Kenya, World Bank 

Speaker: Including IIED trustee chair Tara Shine

Local action to global policies: gateways and gaps

Resilience Hub
Organised by: IIED, Huairou Commission

We know that a very small proportion of global climate finance reaches local communities. There’s often a mismatch between what finance is available at local level and what communities need. As poor and marginalised communities are usually excluded from public decision-making, their concerns are often left out of policy debates.

This session brought together stakeholders from local communities, social movements and NGOs with institutions financing climate action, giving them opportunities to highlight innovative strategies and partnerships to connect their priorities into public decision-making processes and the major barriers to impacting global policy and financial institutions. It was an opportunity to reflect on approaches that have successfully shifted institutional approaches to community-driven action; and go on to pinpoint changes that all actors should collectively strive for in order to effectively deliver resources and advance resilience at local level.

Related reading: Community Resilience Fund: driving climate action from the ground upRepositioning grassroots women as resilience experts and shifting institutional perspectives (Kenya)Empowering grassroots women’s networks to build resilient communities in India using the CRFBuilding a women-led community climate movement

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Beyond the connection: linking community engagement on energy to cross-cutting SDG and NDC implementation

Pavilion event
Hosted by: IIED, UNDP-GEF Small Grant Programme

Rapid transformation of the energy sector at all levels – from national grid to local solutions – is crucial for avoiding the worst climate change impacts and ensuring universal access to energy for all. This event will bring together experts and energy practitioners to explore practical approaches to designing and developing energy delivery models that meet the diverse needs of poor and marginal groups living in very different contexts, exploring how national and global policies and commitments can be anchored in the local context.

The event featured an interactive panel, considering topics such as: how to achieve better synergies and alignment on the ground between access to energy (SDG7), climate action (SDG13) and other SDGs?; what are the key barriers and opportunities in scaling up off-grid solutions in support of the NDCs and the SDGs?; and what role can the UN play in targeting investment and assistance to NDC implementation at the local level and linking it to achievement of SDGs? 

Related reading: Energy services for local development: integrated and inclusive planning for county governments in Kenya | Inclusive and integrated energy planning in Kitui County, Kenya

Loss and damage meet up

Evening reception
Venue: Revolution, 84 Mitchell Street, Glasgow G1 3NA (in person only)
Hosted by: IIED

This reception was an informal gathering of climate change loss and damage champions, in particular representatives of least developed countries, Small Island Developing States and development partners. We used the opportunity to connect, discuss where we have reached so far on loss and damage discussions and what priorities and approaches we should be considering as we move forward towards developing a practical roadmap for tackling loss and damage.

Related reading: Tackling loss and damage in vulnerable countries: improving evidence and co-generating pathways to impact | Tackling loss and damage: lessons from vulnerable countries | Demanding attention for the loss and damage from climate change

Friday, 5 November 2012

Strengthening climate ambition and development cooperation between the LDCs and the international community

Blue Zone side event
Venue: US Pavilion
Hosted by: LDC Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE-AR)

Speakers: Including LDC Group chair Sonam P. Wangdi; Nancy Tembo, Malawi forestry and natural resources minister; Alfred Okot Okidi, permanent secretary, Ministry of Water and Environment of Uganda; Anne Marie Trevelyan, UK international champion on adaptation and resilience for the COP26 Presidency; Sinead Walsh, climate envoy and deputy director general, department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland

The climate emergency calls for a historic shift in the way least developed countries (LDCs) and the international community respond to climate change. Recognising these challenges, LDCs have taken decisive action to step up climate efforts and ambition, launching an 'LDC 2050 Vision', and inviting the international community to join them.

This event was a unique opportunity for the international community and LDCs to come together and chart out a more effective way forward for climate ambition and leadership; share progress on the LDC Vision through LIFE-AR; and for governments to join the LIFE-AR partnership compact.

Related reading: LDC Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE-AR)

Least developed countries experience with long-term strategies

Pavilion event
Venue: COP26 UK Pavilion
Hosted by: LDC Group, 2050 Pathways

The Paris Agreement calls on Parties to formulate and communicate their long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies (LTS) that are key to achieving net-zero emissions as well as building climate resilient economies. Among least developed countries, only Benin and Nepal have submitted their LTS, some are preparing for it and many haven't started the process yet.

This event shared experiences and lessons learnt during the preparation of long-term strategies; explored the challenges with long-term strategy preparation and implementation; and highlighted the need for climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building.

Related read: Supporting LDCs to develop long-term strategies | Financing least developed countries’ climate strategies: taking the long view

Saturday, 6 November 2021

Stories from the frontline: how to ensure nature-based solutions deliver for people as well as for nature and climate

Resilience Hub
Including: Natalie Seddon, Nature-based Solution Initiative; Yvan Biot and Nura Aman, Farm Africa; Yiching Song, Farmers’ Seed Network, China; Georges Bazongo, Tree Aid; Josceline Wheatley, Green Climate Fund 

Nature-based solutions (NbS), if done well, hold the key to cost-effective ways of protecting, sustainably managing, and restoring ecosystems, while at the same time addressing societal challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and poverty and inequality. Drawing on a major report released this year by 15 environment and development organisations, 'Nature-based solutions in action: lessons from the frontline', this session took participants on an interactive trip around the world to explore real-life high-quality NbS and how they are changing people’s lives, protecting or restoring nature and driving climate action.

Nature-based solutions: diverse perspectives on the role of nature and people in climate action

Venue: COP26 MDB Pavilion

Hosted by: Climate Investment Funds (CIF), Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the World Bank

Speakers: Including Clare Shakya, IIED (moderator), Xiaoting Hou Jones, IIED

An estimated 23% of total anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions (2007-2016) derive from Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU). Changes in land use and land cover contribute to climate change, which in turn negatively affects the provision of ecosystem services, exacerbating degradation processes of land and freshwater ecosystems.

This session showcased CIF's new Nature, People and Climate Investment Program (Nature solutions) in a high-level panel discussion, where invitees highlighted country-level lessons, experiences, and pitched nature-based solutions as pivotal to cost-effective and inclusive climate action. The group discussion drew on diverse institutional perspectives, including those of recipient governments, donors, multilateral development banks, bilateral organisations, private sector, academia and civil society organisations.

Monday, 8 November 2021

Indigenous knowledge for climate resilience

Resilience Hub
Hosted by: University of Leeds

Speakers: Including Krystyna Swiderska, IIED

With keynote contributions from representatives of Indigenous communities from across the globe, this event drew on real world examples to explore two critical facets of Indigenous Peoples’ experience and practice: the growing impact that climate change has on Indigenous communities and their livelihood, and the often overlooked role of Indigenous knowledge and traditional practices as a resource for addressing climate change and increasing climate resilience.

The issues were brought to life by hard-hitting short films interspersed with interactive discussions featuring researchers and practitioners working closely with Indigenous communities to address these challenges.

How do we build inclusive resilience – a global conversation

Resilience Hub
Hosted by: MRR Innovation Lab, IIED, Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance

Voices from around the world came together for an informal conversation that will interrogate the question – how do we build bridges for inclusive resilience? Weaving in emerging themes from week one of COP26 and the Resilience Hub, and looking forward to week two, this session tackled issues of climate justice, global South under-representation and the lack of investment in policies and programmes that truly address the climate risks we face, and that prevent us from not just surviving but thriving into the future.

Community Resilience Partnership Program announcement

Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) Pavilion

Speaker: Including Clare Shakya, IIED

Building climate resilience through Indigenous food systems: learning from Indigenous experts in the Potato Park (Peru) and Rabai Kaya forest landscape (Kenya) 

Venue: Recipes for Resilience, Food and Climate Zone, Salvation Army, 1 Houldsworth St, Anderston, Glasgow, G3 8ED
Hosted by: Association ANDES (Peru), Kenya Forestry Research Institute, IIED and the Nourish Scotland Fork to Farm Initiative

Indigenous Peoples’ food systems, founded on ancestral ecological wisdom, are highly resilient and low carbon, and hold many lessons for transforming the world’s unsustainable and inequitable food systems. This event was livestreamed from Indigenous biocultural landscapes, to jointly celebrate the resilient food cultures of Quechua peoples in the Andes, and Mijikenda people in semi-arid coastal Kenya. Indigenous elders, women and youth will share their wisdom, values and innovations, traditional foods, cultural expressions, and spiritual beliefs that underpin resilience in these collectively governed landscapes – or ‘biocultural heritage territories’. They presented key messages and outcomes from ‘Fork to Farm’ dialogues with local policymakers and city municipalities and express their hopes and ambitions for COP26. 

Related reading: Indigenous food systems prove highly resilient during COVID-19 | Indigenous knowledge and values: key for nature conservation

Loss and damage: global perspectives for action

Blue zone
Organised by: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Practical Action, SOAS, with IIED

In many regions of the world, current adaptation measures are insufficient. Responses to climate impacts are reactive rather than proactive, and frontline communities are left to cope with the resulting loss and damage. Moreover, decision-making around measures to increase the resilience of affected communities and countries can be disconnected from local voices and lived experience.

This session was aimed at facilitating an open, honest discussion on overcoming critical challenges on loss and damage. It invited participants to acknowledge action that is happening under the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, and enabled a discussion about practical steps to make progress.

Related reading: Untold stories of climate change loss and damage in the LDCs: Solomon Islands |  Demanding attention for the loss and damage from climate change | Tackling loss and damage in vulnerable countries: improving evidence and co-generating pathways to impact 

Getting money where it matters – new initiatives for scaling-up locally led adaptation

Resilience Hub
Hosted by: IIED, World Resources Institute 

More than 50 organisations have endorsed the principles for locally-led adaptation in 2021, committing to reforming top-down approaches for delivering climate finance, to enabling locally-led interventions, where decisions are made at the lowest appropriate level to deliver finance to communities at frontline of climate change. Central to this is connecting national and local actors as well as collaboration across actors and sectors.

The challenge is now in translating these principles into tangible action. This session announced new actions from national governments and development partners to scale up locally-led adaptation globally in accordance with the principles. This event was followed by a 'Champions for Adaptation Finance' reception that IIED and E3G supported in the same location.

Related reading: Principles for locally-led adaptation | Raising ambition in locally-led action for 2021: calling for business unusual

Accelerating adaptation finance solutions 

Resilience Hub
Hosted by: Champions Group on Adaptation Finance, and supported by E3G and IIED

This event provided a high level political platform for champions to engage with least developed countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) the shared priorities of increasing climate finance for adaptation to reaching balance with mitigation, improving the accessibility of this finance, and improving the quality of adaptation action. Ministers from champion countries and representative leaders from LDCs and SIDS spoke to their own commitments, and their views on ways to progress the adaptation finance agenda.

Including local voices in decision making to ensure just climate action

Pavilion event
Venue: Benelux/EIB pavilion in the COP26 Blue Zone
Hosted by: Hivos 

Speakers: Including Clare Shakya and Tracy Kajumba, IIED

The climate crisis severely threatens vulnerable communities and exacerbates existing inequalities. These communities have taken countless inventive steps to slow it down and address its impacts. Yet, their initiatives are overlooked in decision making and financing. This needs to change. The global decision-making process needs to shift to more inclusivity and leverage on the voices of communities in the global South for locally shaped climate solutions for inclusive and just transition. IIED’s director of climate change, Clare Shakya, joined this session which invited local leaders and policymakers to share challenges and relevance of strengthening local and inclusive climate solutions that deliver real benefits to people and nature. 

Related reading: Principles for locally-led adaptation | Raising ambition in locally-led action for 2021: calling for business unusual

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Recognition, rights and redistribution for locally-led pathways towards just and equitable adaptation and resilience

Official COP26 side event
How to attend: In person at the Lomond Auditorium (144-person capacity).
Organised by: IIED, with Alianza Mesoamericana de Pueblos y Bosques, Ford Foundation, Fundación Programa Salvadoreño de Investigación sobre Desarrollo y Medio Ambiente (PRISMA), Mainyoto Pastoralist Alliance, Rights and Resources Institute, Inc. (RRI), and Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN)

Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) are widely recognised as being critical for climate change mitigation and resilience. Yet their rights and the recognition of their knowledge are not always respected, and most funding efforts have not reached local levels. This event proposed pathways forward to these challenges.

Speakers from IPLCs and organisations engaged in research efforts on rights-based approaches, locally-led action and climate finance will delve into practical solutions for locally-led-action in ways that merit more recognition, rights and enhanced access to climate finance. 

Related reading: Principles for locally-led adaptation | Raising ambition in locally-led action for 2021: calling for business unusual

Lessons from the frontline – how can nature-based solutions deliver development and climate benefits?

Development & Climate Days
How to attend: Virtual, as part of Development & Climate Days

Speakers: Including Sheku Kamara, onservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL); Xiu Yun Zhang, Farmers’ Seed Network, China; Georgina Chandler, RSPB; Dan Collison, Farm Africa; Chiara Ambrosino, Plan International; Jason Garret, World Vision; Chris Henderson, Practical Action; Rab Nawaz, WWF

This highly interactive session shared evidence on how nature-based solutions (NbS), when done well, can help address the interconnected challenges of climate change, nature loss and rising poverty and inequality. Building on case studies from the ‘frontline’ and engaging with session participants, the session highlighted key ingredients for success and challenges and opportunities for NbS to deliver development and climate benefits on the ground.

Related reading: Nature-based solutions in action: lessons from the frontline

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Inclusive green jobs

Hosted by: Accenture

Speakers: Including Laura Kelly, IIED

How will inclusive green jobs enable those most vulnerable to climate change to prosper? This cross-sectoral panel discussion explored this issue.

How can local organisations working with nature build and spread resilience? 

Development & Climate Days

Speakers: Including James Mayers, IIED; Sophie Grouwels, Forest and Farm Facility at FAO; Kastory Matembele Timbula, TTGAU, Tanzania; Roger Mendoza Aro, FEDPRACAO-CBBA, Bolivia

This highly interactive session demonstrated that local organisational and associational capability is fundamental for nature-based solutions to be sustained through sharing examples around the world supported by the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF). A partnership steered by FAO, IIED, IUCN and Agricord, FFF has a track record of providing such catalytic support in a range of countries in Latin America, Africa and South Asia. Participants learned and discussed evidence from FFF experience in a range of contexts showing that where resilience is increasing it is because local organisational strength and innovation is spreading.

Knowledge for transformative action towards a resilient future

Resilience Hub
Hosted by: Resilience Knowledge Coalition, Climate and Development Knowledge Network, Adaptation Research Alliance
Speakers: Including Rosemary Atieno, Women Climate Center International; Aditya Bahadur, IIED; Saleemul Huq, ICCCAD

In this session, participants learned about ways of generating and using local knowledge on adaptation and resilience, ways of forging innovative researcher-practitioner-community partnerships and components of an enabling environment for moving research and knowledge into action for effective adaptation. The host initiatives shared their different but complementary approaches to ensure adaptation action is locally led and able to tackle the challenges of climate change in the 21st century.

Thursday, 11 November, 2021

Resilient cities and regions for all: enabling inclusive climate responses in the global North and South

Resilience Hub
Hosted by: Sniffer, UK Core Cities Adaptation, IIED

Four billion people live in urban areas and this could grow by 2.5 billion by 2050. Cities and their regions are critical to addressing climate impacts. It’s essential we understand how national governments, municipal authorities, the private sector and civil society can work together to create more climate resilient cities and regions.

This session explored the enablers of change that facilitate urban resilience in the global North and South and how different groups can contribute. We provided opportunities to share experiences and learn together, strengthening the global community of practice tackling this significant challenge.

Advancing equity in cities: the bedrock for transformative climate action

Pavilion event
Venue: GEF Pavilion
Hosted by: World Resources Institute

Speakers: Including David Dodman, IIED

This session featured a 'Leadership Moment for Action' focused on urban equity and climate, followed by an 'Urban Stakeholders' Dialogue' on scaling equitable climate solutions.

This event built on the World Resources Report 'Towards a More Equal City' synthesis and series, and aimed to galvanise broad-based support for a forward-looking agenda to shape more equal cities via inclusive climate action and COVID-19 recovery.

Building new coalitions to win the race to zero emissions by 2050!

Green Zone
Venue: Glasgow Science Centre, 50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1EA

Academy Award-winning film producer Dirk Wilutzky discussed a series of short films planned as part of the 'Transformative Urban Coalitions' project, which strives to achieve socially inclusive, fast and radical CO2-emissions reductions in five selected pilot cities in Argentina, Mexico and Brazil.

Excerpts from the work in progress were screened, followed by a conversation involving the audience with Dirk Wilutzky; Dr Simone Sandholz of the United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS); Pablo Lazo, World Resource Institute, and a youth activist from Latin America (TBC) about how filmmakers and artists can cooperate with scientists to reach, inform and inspire people across different communities to engage in concrete action towards drastically curbing carbon emissions right now.

Related reading: Transforming cities, transforming lives

The health-climate nexus: delivering a virtuous cycle of benefits

Resilience Hub
Hosted by: Mott MacDonald
Speakers: Including Alice Sverdlik, IIED

lll-health and climate change are interrelated global threats, and the solutions to each are also intertwined. This session, in the format of a series of lightning talks, highlighted where such synergies lie and offer proactive and deliverable solutions, including examples of nature-based, place-based and regenerative solutions that provide climate resilience while also contributing to health and wellbeing outcomes.