The silver lining: healthier, wealthier cities
Areport by the UK-based Carbon Disclosure Project, based on data from 110 cities around the world, suggests that the action that cities are taking to mitigate or adapt to climate change are not only helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make the cities more resilient, but also making them into much better places in which to live.
The cities reported more than $40 million (NZ$50 million) in savings per year from tackling climate change. The vast majority, 91 per cent, also believe that working to combat climate change will lead to economic opportunities.
The report’s authors said: “An increasing number of cities are putting resiliency and adaptation plans in place, up from 63 per cent in 2011 to 71 per cent this year. If you want to be a competitive, healthier city, you have to make these changes. More and more cities are thinking and talking about climate change related actions in terms of job generation, cleaner air, decreased congestion, better public services, rather than greenhouse gas emissions reductions, just because it’s much more tangible for people. 98 per cent of cities report climate change as a risk. Most of them are reporting risks from temperature increases, heat waves and storms or intense periods of rainfall. On the whole this is right now. This isn’t something they are looking at for their children or grandchildren, it is current, in 2013.”