Cities are fighting climate change, but not where it matters most

(Bloomberg) – More cities than ever are implementing measures to combat climate change and mitigate the impact of extreme weather events on their communities, but there is still a huge gap between what is needed and what they are doing.

In a survey of 812 cities released by the nonprofit CDP on Wednesday, nearly all said they were aware that they face dangers like extreme heat, floods and storms that put their populations and infrastructure at risk. Less than half have a detailed plan to address the problem.

“There is an improvement in the cities’ climate plans, but there is definitely still a gap,” said Mirjam Wolfrum, leader of political participation at CDP Europe. “It takes a lot more and at a faster pace.”

Cities are essential in the fight against global warming because they are responsible for approximately three-quarters of global greenhouse gas emissions and consume approximately two-thirds of the world’s energy supplies. Climate scientists say emissions must be cut in half by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 in order to keep warming at or near the 1.5 degree Celsius threshold by the end of the century.

Only 17% of cities are implementing measures in the four areas that CDP says have the greatest impact when it comes to reducing emissions: construction, transportation, power grids and waste management. There is also a gap in project funding. About half of the cities surveyed identified more than 1,000 climate projects they could undertake, requiring an additional investment of $ 42 billion in total, according to the report.

“The main barriers are the complex environments in which cities operate, with very diverse local contexts, as well as budget problems,” said Wolfrum. “Cities generally address one of the areas and neglect others.”

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Climate disclosure is the first step in helping cities understand their climate risks. After that, they should develop a plan with short-term and long-term goals, and a mechanism for regularly reporting on progress. In the CDP survey, 365 respondents had city-wide emission reduction plans in 2020, up from just 16 a decade ago, but only 148 were aligned with science-based targets.

The number of cities preparing risk assessments has increased more than 10 times to 478 in the last decade. But 43% of cities representing a projected population of more than 400 million people by 2030 do not yet have climate adaptation plans. The main vulnerabilities reported were storms, heat waves and droughts.

Original Note: Cities Aren’t Making Climate Investments Where They Matter Most

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