The Right to Resilience – Reinventing Prosperity 2023

The Right to Resilience

The 2023 Reinventing Prosperity Report emphasizes evidence and actions that can work to honor the right to a livable future.

People and communities, and the nature we all depend on to sustain us, have a right to remain free from harm, to see vulnerability to climate shocks reduced, to be set up to thrive. The right to resilience is the right to a livable future. We all benefit when that right is recognized and upheld, and when national and global policy invest in and secure better outcomes.

In 2020, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency, the Citizens’ Climate International leadership team held weekly calls for interested stakeholder leaders from our network around the world. Those calls revealed that people in diverse local and country contexts were facing economic disruption, health and security vulnerabilities, and a worrying erosion of everyday livability and resilience. 

We began to consult our network on core requirements for restarting after COVID in a way that would make such threats less likely. The Principles for Reinventing Prosperity were the result. The first three are principles of fact; the last three are principles of action. Together, the goal is to define the space for reconfiguring local, national, and global economic drivers, to make a future of successful climate-resilient development possible. 

  1. We are all future-builders.
  2. Health is a fabric of wellbeing and value.
  3. Resilience is a baseline imperative.
  4. Leave no one behind.
  5. Design to transcend crisis.
  6. Maximize integrative value creation.

The Right to Resilience

Our 2023 Reinventing Prosperity Report gives extra emphasis to the third principle: “Resilience is a baseline imperative.” If we manifest this principle consistently in the political, economic, and technological response to climate breakdown, policy, planning, and incentives should not treat resilience as an unreachable ideal, but as a legitimizing duty. Below, we take stock of the lingering “polycrisis” and emphasize the right to resilience, which is another way of saying the right to a livable future.

The right to resilience includes the right to: 

  • experience the benefits of decision-making based on the best available science;
  • enjoy a clean and healthy environment;
  • receive early warning of climate-related risks and disasters;
  • access climate-resilient, sustainable food systems that produce healthy, nutritious food, affordably;
  • be protected from physical threats—from geophysical shock events and their aftermath and from conditions of violence and destabilization that can follow climate shocks or prolonged disruption and destabilization;
  • participate in decision-making at the local, national, and international levels, to ensure climate policy and related financial flows are rooted in local experience and designed to succeed;
  • see climate-related loss and damage addressed in a coordinated, responsible, and timely way—never leaving vulnerable people to carry the burden alone.

The 2023 Reinventing Prosperity Report will be released during the first week of the COP28 United Nations Climate Change negotiations, in Dubai.