Africa, Asia key to slow cli­mate change – re­port

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - WORLD -

Barcelona – The fu­ture that fast-grow­ing cities in South Asia and Africa choose – cleaner and safer or dirt­ier and more dan­ger­ous – will be piv­otal to ef­forts to limit global warm­ing to 1.50C, sci­en­tists said in a key United Na­tions re­port this week.

Iconic metropoles such as New York and Lon­don of­ten grab head­lines with their plans to cut air pol­lu­tion, adopt elec­tric trans­port, de­sign green build­ings or pro­tect res­i­dents from floods.

But greater ef­forts are needed to make sim­i­lar changes in de- velop­ing-world cities, par­tic­u­larly as many smaller ones lack the knowl­edge and fi­nan­cial re­sources to do it, ex­perts said.

“We know that much of ur­ban growth is go­ing to be in these small- and medium-sized cities in the global south,” said Wil­liam Solecki, an au­thor of the cli­mate science re­port and pro­fes­sor at Hunter Col­lege City Uni­ver­sity of New York.

How­ever, “these are cities that his­tor­i­cally have had lim­ited ca­pac­ity in gov­er­nance and fi­nance”, he said.

Around the world, cities con­sume more than two-thirds of the world’s en­ergy and ac­count for about three-quar­ters of car­bon diox­ide emis­sions, ac­cord­ing to the United Na­tions.

Whether they can cut those emis­sions swiftly and pro­tect in­hab­i­tants against wors­en­ing cli­mate im­pacts, from flood­ing to heat­waves, will play a huge role in de­ter­min­ing whether the goals of the 2015 Paris Agree­ment on cli­mate change are met.

But many cities in poorer na­tions face sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges, in­clud­ing large and grow­ing slum pop­u­la­tions that lack ba­sic ser­vices and are in­creas­ingly at risk from cli­mate dis­as­ters, ex­perts said. “The re­port high­lights that cli­mate change will im­pact the most vul­ner­a­ble, that the ca­pac­ity to re­spond will be most lim­ited in those lo­ca­tions and among those peo­ples,” Solecki said.

The world’s slum pop­u­la­tion is ex­pected to triple to three bil­lion by 2050, plac­ing a sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of peo­ple “be­yond the di­rect reach” of for­mal poli­cies. – Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.