Cities and Climate Change: Partnerships and the Convergence of the two Greatest Development Phenomena of the New Millennium
|Watch a video on Climate Change and the Urban Poor: The Case of Mexico|
Cities are also most vulnerable to the consequences of a changing climate.
|World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick|
They also have a vital role to play in the development and implementation of international and national framework agreements governing climate change action such as the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol and the Mayors' Task Force on Climate change. They also stand to benefit from the opportunities created by this framework for local responses to climate change.
|World Bank Lead Urban Specialist Dan Hoornweg|
Dan Hoornweg, World Bank Lead Urban Specialist summarises the importance of cities to climate change actions thus:
|William Cobbett, Cities Alliance Manager|
As William Cobbett, Cities Alliance Manager puts it, “Cities and local governments are pioneering much of the best practices in sustainable development and climate change. Using the economic potential of urbanisation for lasting poverty reduction and increasing resilience in the urban millennium requires us to think about new ways of collaboration at the global, national and local level”.
Judy Baker, World Bank Lead Economist for Urban Development
The Task Force is comprised of the Mayors of Dar es Salaam, Jakarta, Mexico City and São Paulo who have recognised the importance of these issues in their cities and have demonstrated strong support for taking action. Each city has undertaken a risk assessment which is being followed by risk reduction strategies.
- The urban poor are on the front line of the effects of climate change and natural hazards.
- City governments are the drivers for addressing risks through ensuring basic services. Basic services are the first line of defence against the impacts of climate change and natural hazards.
- City officials build resilience by mainstreaming risk reduction into urban management. Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction can be best addressed and sustained over time through integration with existing urban planning and management practices.
- Significant financial support is needed. Local governments need to leverage existing and new resources to meet the shortfalls in service delivery and basic infrastructure adaptation.
|Watch a video on Climate Change, Natural Disasters and the Urban Poor|
The study also identifies a set of broad actions that can help build resilience for those at greatest risk in cities. These include integrating adaptation and risk reduction policies into urban planning and management, prioritising the provision of basic services in low income areas, strengthening institutional capacity to deliver those services, bridging communities and local governments to work together on local solutions, and opening new finance opportunities for cities to address pro-poor adaptation and risk reduction.