Four in five cities have faced “significant” weather hazards this year, while a quarter expect to face more intense and frequent “high risk” weather hazards by 2025.
That’s the stark conclusion of a new report released this week by investor-backed climate disclosure group CDP, which called on nearly a thousand cities around the world to report on the climate risks they face. they face and how they react to it.
He revealed that climate impacts are a growing concern for city managers around the world, with 46% saying they have faced extreme heat this year, 36% affected by heavy rain, 35% by drought and 33 % by urban flooding. For almost a third of cities, these hazards threaten the vast majority, at least 70%, of their population.
Moreover, nearly two-thirds of cities expect these risks to be more intense in the future, while more than half expect them to be more frequent.
The report also highlights the uneven distribution of these risks, with the elderly, low-income households, children, and marginalized and minority communities being most at risk from climate-related hazards.
“From the deadliest floods in Pakistan’s history to the worst drought on the European continent in five centuries, 2022 has been another devastating year for climate change events,” said Maia Kutner, Acting Global Director, cities, states and regions to the CDP. “Every day around the world we hear common phrases like ‘unprecedented’, ‘the worst’ or ‘the first time in history’ which do little to express the staggering impact that the rise of the temperature the globe has on the planet and its inhabitants. For more than half of the world’s population, cities find themselves on the front lines of climate change.”
The report also highlights how the vast majority of cities are taking action to build their climate resilience, which also unlocks a range of co-benefits.
Putting people at the heart of climate action, from planning to implementation, improves lives.
For example, 85% of cities taking people-centered climate action reported public health benefits, such as better air quality, better physical and mental health, while the same proportion identified social benefits, including increased food and water security and better protection of vulnerable populations.
Additionally, cities taking people-centered climate action were five times more likely to realize job creation as a co-benefit of climate action, while three-quarters of these cities reported environmental benefits. , such as more green space in the city or improved water and soil quality.
“Putting people at the heart of climate action, from planning to implementation, improves lives,” Kutner said. “It unlocks social, economic and environmental benefits, improves equity and inclusion, and ensures a just transition to a low-carbon economy. Cities that identify vulnerable groups, engage with them, and understand their needs to implement just adaptation strategies see the clear benefits and create a sustainable future for people and the planet.”
CDP calls on cities to take a range of steps to advance climate action and build climate resilience, including setting science-based emissions targets, undertaking climate risk and vulnerability assessments, and developing adaptation plans.
Michael Bloomberg, Founder of Bloomberg and Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Climate Ambition and Solutions, said: “This report highlights the key risks that cities around the world face from climate change, as well as the benefits of taking action, including cleaning the air, improving public health, and expanding economic opportunity The more cities know about these risks and benefits, the more they engage citizens in the work they do to address the climate crisis, the faster they can progress.