One of the biggest challenges to climate action is not only understanding the risks of flooding, extreme heat and other challenges, but how your community might respond to these risks. What are its strengths? How might policymakers augment existing capacities and address weaknesses?
As Day Zeroes are becoming commonplace across the world, India needs to prepare itself for its worst-ever water crisis by establishing a network of water policies and programmes, ranging from community engagement to multilateral/bilateral collaboration.
On 4-5th May, adelphi was at the Resilient Cities Congress 2017 in Bonn to speak on a panel on ‘Violence and Climate Change in Cities’. The session was a unique and much required discussion on the interactions between climate change and conflict in urban settings.
Cities are already facing the brunt of a range of interacting risks from criminal violence, terrorism and war to demographic pressures, to climate and environmental change. Coastal megacities are especially at risk given the specific impacts of climate change they face, such as sea-level rise, increased storm frequency and severity, and destruction to infrastructure such as ports, rail and road networks. These risks are amplified as urban populations become ever larger.
Cities are on the sharp end of a range of risks from criminal violence, terrorism and war to demographic pressures, to climate and environmental change. Coastal megacities are especially at risk given the specific impacts of climate change they face, including accelerated global sea-level rise, increased storm frequency and severity, and destruction to critical infrastructure such as port facilities, rail and road linkages, and energy installations, all of which are amplified as urban populations become ever larger.
Following last month’s United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador, it is worth raising attention to the key challenges and opportunities that the urbanisation process imposes on peaceful development. In fragile contexts, such as urban areas which are already highly exposed to multiple risks (including climate change, disasters, chronic poverty, insecurity and population displacement), the converging effects of climate change and growing youth populations can severely affect security risks.
A greater understanding of the relationship between climate change, migration, cities and conflict is required in the global research community. Clemence Finaz, a Research Associate at International Alert, illustrates the complexities of a densely-populated city’s vulnerability to compound risks, including climate-related disaster and a high level of insecurity using the case example of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Cities matter in international climate politics despite being non-state actors. How can their role be strengthened to take forward the world climate agenda? Gianna Gayle Amul and Maxim Shrestha make a case for more city climate diplomacy.
Diplomacy surrounding climate change happens on numerous levels. The current definition of climate diplomacy largely centres on the negotiations by state parties at the UNFCCC does not capture the full extent of current global trends and developments. Cities have become important actors in climate change discussions, formulating and implementing adaptation policies, and setting mitigation goals and targets.
Global cities like Singapore have the unique opportunity to contribute in the learning from and sharing of best practices in urban sustainability and liveability. As a city-state that considers itself a living laboratory for greener and cleaner urban living, Singapore has been making strides in developing itself into a model for a green urban economy. Over time it is likely to also become an important test-bed for climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies from which other cities and urban centres could potentially learn.
After Cyclone Hudhud pounded India's southern port city of Visakhapatnam last October, snapping bridges, swamping farmland and wrecking fishing boats, many breathed a sigh of relief.
Cities need to be recognized, increasingly more so for their role in implementing necessary and timely action to address the impacts of climate change where it matters – at the local level. With majority of the global population living in urban environments, cities are major sources of carbon emissions as well as highly vulnerable to climate impacts. The involvement and participation of cities and urban localities are therefore important and required in terms of both climate adaptation and mitigation efforts.
11-13 February 2015,
The First Asia-Pacific Forum on Urban Resilience and Adaptation is organised by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the World Mayors Council on Climate Change and hosted by Bangkok Municipal Administration. Municipal decision-makers, international development actors and donors will come together to explore options for climate resilient urban governance and create momentum for concerted action in the Asia-Pacific Region. The conference brochure is available for download.