Friday, June 29, 2012

European cities seek to reduce risks of climate change

EurActiv: European cities are planning to adapt to climate change as the risks become more severe, says a report released yesterday (28 June) by UK-based emissions measurement organisation the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and consultancy Accenture.

Cities increasingly have to plan flood defences, ways to manage water in times of drought, ensure new buildings provide natural cooling to occupants and adapt old buildings and infrastructure to become more energy efficient. The report surveyed 22 cities - including Amsterdam, Berlin, Istanbul, London, Manchester, Moscow, Paris and Rome - about their greenhouse gas emissions and climate change strategies.

The report comes less than a week after a United Nations' summit in Rio de Janeiro failed to define clear sustainable development goals and left many convinced that local governments and businesses will have to lead efforts to improve the environment. The survey found that 17 of the 22 cities have completed or almost completed risk assessments to understand how climate change will affect them.

Eighteen cities said they face "significant risks" arising from climate change and a dozen of them see these risks as "severe" or "very severe". Due to these risks, cities are increasingly looking at developing adaptation plans. Fourteen cities already have an adaptation plan in place while two more are currently developing them.

"European cities are demonstrating leadership and best practice in managing climate change at the local level," said Conor Riffle, head of CDP's cities programme. "The report shows that other cities can benefit by implementing similar strategies, like annual measurement and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions."...

The Danube and Budapest, shot by Daniel Somogyi-Tóth,, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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