Mott Macdonald: COP26 Resilience Hub

15th October 2021 by CMIA

Mott MacDonald chosen to shape the Nature: Water, Health and Wellbeing and Resilient Infrastructure themes at the COP26 Resilience Hub.

Partners will create a programme of adaptation and resilience-themed events.

Mott MacDonald will work across the three themes of Nature: Water, Resilient Infrastructure, and Health and Wellbeing (including heat-stress) for the Resilience theme at the COP26 Hub.

The Resilience Hub is a virtual and physical presence created for the Glasgow Climate Conference – the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to the Climate Convention – to put the spotlight on resilience and adaptation. It seeks to highlight how governments, organisations, businesses and communities across the world are working to build resilience to risks from climate change.

Led by non-state actors from business, investors, civil society, academia, cities and regions, it seeks to increase the focus on adapting to climate change by sharing best practice and building collaboration, momentum and new opportunities on adaptation and resilience. Further goals of the Hub include amplifying messages from COP and helping to set the direction for future action on adaptation and resilience beyond the conference.

It will occupy a physical pavilion in the COP Blue Zone in the centre of Glasgow in parallel with COP from 1-12 November 2021, while a complementary virtual platform will run 24/7 to connect a global audience.

The COP Resilience Hub will also be the home of the UN High Level Champions Race to Resilience which seeks to catalyse action to build the resilience of four billion people by 2030. The Hub has ten themes (see below) and will support the objective of the COP26 President Alok Sharma on adaption to the impacts of climate change.

The Nature: Water theme, led by Mott MacDonald, Anglian Water, and the Water Pavilion coalition, will highlight the positive social, environmental and economic outcomes that investing in water resilience will bring. The co-leads have been given the task of creating a programme of water-themed events to take place both in the Blue Zone at the conference itself and on online channels, with the aim of showcasing best practice, sharing ideas and driving global action.

The Health and wellbeing theme will focus on a range of health impacts globally including for healthcare and cities, the theme will pay attention to heat stress and lethal heatwaves, which are devastating the health and wellbeing of people around the world. Events will showcase initiatives, programs and new commitments that are building the resilience of people and communities to climate impacts. Mott MacDonald is leading this series of events with the Atlantic Council and supported by the Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance.

Mott MacDonald are also supporting the Resilient Infrastructure theme through the work with the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment.

The COP Resilience Hub represents a global community of interest driven by the urgency to act, with over 30 private and public organisations involved in developing the programme, and a Steering Committee that includes Directors from the COP26 Presidency, FCDO, UNFCCC and the High-Level Champions Team.

Largely financed by private sector and philanthropic support, it is managed by three non-state actors: the Global Resilience Partnership, the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Centre at the Atlantic Council, and The Resilience Shift.

To find out more and sign up please go to

Mott MacDonald’s executive chair, Mike Haigh, said:

“We know that we can’t escape some degree of climate change, so putting climate resilience, as well as net zero, at the heart of everything we do is critical to our purpose of delivering social outcomes. The Resilience Hub will be the focal point at COP26 for resilience and we are thrilled to be playing a central role in shaping and delivering the Resilience Hub programme, alongside our partners to deliver a programme of events that will showcase pragmatic solutions for the benefit for all.

The recent report from the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report Working Group 1 concluded that climate change will have profound effects on the global water cycle. We know as well that the impacts of climate change on water will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable in society as well as ecosystems and the natural environment. Investing in and building resilient water and sanitation systems, managing water resources sustainably, adapting through nature-based solutions and harnessing the power of digital tools are all imperative to our response to the climate challenge.

The health impacts of climate change – from extreme heat to food insecurity, from exacerbating health inequality to increased risk of infectious disease – are often thought about as public health issues requiring a government response. However, only by harnessing the Private Sector can we tackle the health impacts of Climate change.”

Anglian Water CEO, Peter Simpson, said:

“We operate in one of the driest areas of the country – indeed much of the East of England is drier than Jerusalem, with only two thirds of the national average rainfall – yet at the same time, the fact that much of our region is below sea level makes us very vulnerable to flooding.

These challenges put us on the front line of climate change in the UK. Just last winter we experienced intense, widespread and long-lasting flooding causing huge impact for communities right across our region. Yet if we don’t take steps to secure long-term resilient supplies, the East of England would face serious water shortages within the next five years.

So we have long recognised that adapting to the reality of climate change requires just as much focus as the global race to reach net zero carbon. For many years we have structured our investment plans to meet this goal, and built cross-sector relationships to unlock new approaches to water management.

It’s becoming ever clearer that investing in long-term resilience – and making that investment right now, not in five years’ or ten years’ time – is crucial for businesses and governments the world over. And it’s important to remember that imaginatively delivered adaptation can bring enormous benefits for communities and the environment as well as mitigating risk.

COP26 offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the UK to be at the heart of the world’s response to the existential challenge posed by the climate emergency. As an organisation driven by environmental and social purpose, we are deeply honoured to have been invited to play a part in shaping global solutions by co-leading the Resilience Hub’s water theme. Through the events we will co-create with Mott MacDonald and the Water Pavilion we hope to showcase global best practice and generate fresh ideas to respond to the water challenge we face.”


The hub will feature 10 themes, five of which are designed to align with COP’s themed days:
• Food and Agriculture
• Cities, Regions and Built Environment
• Nature: Water
• Energy Access and Resilience
• Finance and Investment

The Five Additional Themes Are:
• Resilient Infrastructure
• Locally Led Adaptation
• Health and Wellbeing (Including Heat Stress)
• Early Action and Disaster Risk Reduction
• Arts, Culture and Heritage