New Report Highlights Role of Cities in Climate Action
- Category: News
- Published: Wednesday, 14 September 2022 10:32
- Written by Hizbullah Arief
A new multi-agency report coordinated by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), highlights the role of cities in supporting climate actions.
The report, "United in Science", released in Geneva, 13 September 2022, shows that greenhouse gas concentrations continue to rise to record highs. The report also focuses on global temperatures, climate predictions and tipping points, extreme weather impacts and early warnings system.
The report highlights the effects of climate Change in cities taken from analysis by Urban Climate Change Research Network. Cities – home to 55% of the global population, or 4.2 billion people – are responsible for up to 70% of human-caused emissions while also highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as increased heavy precipitation, accelerated sea-level rise, acute and chronic coastal flooding and extreme heat, among other key risks.
These impacts exacerbate socioeconomic challenges and inequalities. Globally, by the 2050s, over 1.6 billion people living in over 970 cities will be regularly exposed to 3-month average temperatures reaching at least 35 °C (95 °F).
According to the report, cities, supported by networks such as the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN), the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM), C40, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), and others, can effectively develop the managerial and governance capacity needed to fulfil climate action stock takes under the requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement and SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
Currently, 1 676 cities and 146 regions, which account for over 14% of the global population, have pledged to reach net-zero emissions (Data-Driven EnviroLab, 2022). This shows great promise; however, the 14% must transition from pledging their support into scaled-up political action and transformative implementation.
Climate-inclusive planning and investments in social and ecological systems, green and gray infrastructure, healthcare services, and technological advancements have significant ability to increase cities’ adaptive capacity. Low-income and marginalized groups, as well as surrounding metropolitan regions, must be included throughout the climate decisionmaking processes.
The report concluded that cities have an important role in addressing climate change by implementing inclusive, urgent and scaled-up mitigation action and increasing the adaptive capacity of billions of urban inhabitants. Now is the time to integrate adaptation and mitigation, coupled with sustainable development, into the ever-dynamic urban environment.