Monday, December 6, 2010

New report sees cities as central to climate action

The World Bank: A new report from the World Bank released today outlines how residents of cities are responsible for as much as 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time facing significant impacts from climate change.

The report, Cities and Climate Change: An Urgent Agenda, says that up to 80 percent of the expected $80 billion to $100 billion per year in climate change adaptation costs will likely be borne by urban areas. Nevertheless, says the report, climate change offers cities opportunities to alter course, implement smart policies, and develop sustainable communities. Well managed, dense cities are also shown to be the most important pre-requisite to mitigation of GHG emissions and overall sustainable development.

“Many world cities, such as New York , Mexico City, Amman, or Sao Paulo are not waiting for a comprehensive and global climate deal to emerge, they are already acting on climate change,”said Andrew Steer, World Bank Special Envoy for Climate Change. “They are showing how to address mitigation, adaptation, the delivery of basic urban services, and poverty reduction through smart ideas and local initiatives. They need the support of their national governments and the international community at large.”

Cities and Climate Change: An Urgent Agenda conveys a need to act now— massive investments in buildings and infrastructure that cities in developing countries are undertaking today will lock in urban form and lifestyles for many decades to come, foretelling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and vulnerability to climate events like wind storms, flooding, heat waves, and sea level rise….

A view of eastern Amman from the citadel atop Jabal al-Qal'a, shot by David Bjorgen, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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