Millions at risk as cities fail to adapt to climate change: Report 

AFP
Paris, France  Published: May 12, 2021, 01:10 PM(IST)

Climate change (file photo) Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

CDP, a global non-profit that collects data disclosed by companies, cities, states and regions on environmental impact, analysed over 800 global cities and found that 43 per cent do not yet have a plan to adapt to the challenges of climate change

Hundreds of cities have no climate adaptation plans in place despite rising threats like floods, heatwaves and pollution, according to a report on Wednesday that said this could put 400 million people at risk across the world. 

Fast-expanding urban areas are home to more than half the population of the planet and are increasingly exposed to climate-fuelled disasters, economic shocks and health crises as the world warms, with fears that vulnerable communities will be hardest hit.     

CDP, a global non-profit that collects data disclosed by companies, cities, states and regions on environmental impact, analysed over 800 global cities and found that 43 per cent do not yet have a plan to adapt to the challenges of climate change.  

With more and more people drawn to live in urban areas, CDP estimated that by 2030 around 400 million people will be living in poorly prepared cities.  

"The urgent need to act and have adaptation measures in place to keep the citizens safe, is increasing together with (the growing urban population)," said Mirjam Wolfrum, CDP's Policy Director for Europe.  

She said that 93 per cent of the cities included in the report were facing 'significant threats', while 60 per cent highlighted 'substantive' water security issues.  

The top five hazards are flash and surface flooding, including from rising sea levels, heat waves, rainstorms, extreme hot days and droughts, she said, adding that air pollution is also a major health concern.   

Ongoing adaptation strategies in the municipalities that reported to CDP include tree planting (20 percent), flood mapping (18 per cent) and developing crisis management plans like evacuation systems (14 per cent).   

With cities responsible for some 70 per cent of global emissions, the report said urban centres are also looking at schemes like increasing the use of renewable energy and improving green spaces, transport infrastructure and recycling. 

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