Tuesday, December 3, 2013

European cities slow to adapt to climate change

Laura Dattaro in the Weather Channel: A new study shows that many European cities have no plans in place to help slow climate change or acclimate to its effects. Those that are working toward a climate change fix are, in general, working to slow its pace.

Plans to deal with climate change fall into two categories: mitigation, which addresses the causes of climate change directly (like reducing greenhouse gas emissions), or adaptation, which focuses on strategies to cope with new weather patterns (like building flood barriers to protect cities in the face of rising sea levels).

The new study, led by Diana Reckien of Columbia University’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, found that of the 200 European cities examined, 130 — or 65 percent — have at least a mitigation plan, while the remaining 35 percent had neither a mitigation nor an adaptation plan. The team also identified 25 percent of the cities as “climate leaders” for having both types of plans, plus specific targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“It looks like that for the regular city, the path of development is you adopt a mitigation plan, you start with an adaptation plan and then you get into putting those plans into practice,” Reckien said. “It’s true that there is a lack of adaptation and adaptation engagement.”

The United Kingdom had the highest percentage of climate-leading cities, including London, Manchester and Liverpool, followed by Germany, Finland and France....

In Augsburg, Germany, the Komödie (theatre) Photographed by Andreas Praefcke, February 2003, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

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