Experts establish blueprint on climate change and cities

Urban experts have established of a global blueprint to better understand climate change, its impact on cities and the critical role local authorities play in solving this challenge.

The blueprint came at the end of the three-day Cities and Climate Change Science Conference, which was co-sponsored by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and nine partners, including C40 Cities, UN Environment and UN-Habitat.

“The impacts of climate change are already being felt in our urban areas, and the next few years are critical for determining how effectively we will rise to the challenge of protecting our cities,” said Seth Schultz, director of Science and Innovation with C40 Climate Leadership Group and one of the co-chairs of the conference’s Scientific Steering Committee.

“This research won’t just help save our cities – it will also improve them for generations to come.”

A primary focus of the conference was on the Paris Agreement, the UN’s Sustainable Development goals, the New Urban Agenda, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, all of which require cities to implement new sustainable development plans to adapt and respond to climate change, reports UN Climate Change News.

The conference also explored current and future urban emission drivers, urban climate impacts and pathways for cities to pursue emissions reductions and resilience strategies. Cities are responsible for some 75 per cent of global carbon emissions, and as such, experience some of the worst effects of climate change.

“Business-as-usual will not save the world,” emphasized Debra Roberts, co-chair of the IPCC Working Group II and a member of the conference’s Scientific Steering Committee.

“This conference disrupted the traditional story of the world’s cities to show how science can partner with policy and practice to transform the world’s cities into climate-smart, equitable and sustainable homes for all.

Image credit: Jeff Wallace via Flickr

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