IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Chapter 8: Urban Areas

IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Chapter 8: Urban Areas

This chapter of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report focus on climate change impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability in urban areas.

It argues that urban climate adaptation can build resilience and enable sustainable development and that action in urban centres is essential to successful global climate change adaptation. It highlights that much of key and emerging global climate risks are concentrated in urban areas composed of complex inter-dependent systems that can be leveraged to support climate change adaptation.

The chapter argues that urban adaptation action that delivers mitigation co-benefits is a powerful, resource-efficient means to address climate change. But urban climate change risks, vulnerabilities, and impacts are increasing across the world in urban centres, as are urban climate change-related risks, with widespread negative impacts on people and on local and national economies and ecosystems.

It is argued that urban climate adaptation provides opportunities for both incremental and transformative development and can enhance economic comparative advantage, reducing risks to enterprises and to households and communities. Several specific areas for potential action are identified.

The chapter argues that for most key climate change associated hazards in urban areas, risk levels increase from the present (with current adaptation) to the near-term but high adaptation can reduce these risk levels significantly.

It is argued that implementing effective urban adaptation is possible and can be accelerated, but it needs to be well governed. Building human and institutional capacity for adaptation in local governments, including scope for reflecting on incremental and transformative adaptation pathways, accelerates implementation and improves urban adaptation outcomes.

The chapter argues that enabling the capacity of low-income groups and vulnerable communities, and their partnership with local governments, can be an effective urban adaptation strategy.

The chapter highlights the issue of finance for adaptation and that urban centres around the world face severe constraints to raising and allocating resources to implement adaptation. International financial institutions provide limited financial support for adaptation in urban areas. Dealing with the uncertainty associated with climate change projections and balancing them with actions to address current vulnerabilities and adaptation costs helps to assist implementation in urban areas.

[Adapted from source]

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