A survey in 800 cities around the world showed that 90% of cities will be severely affected by climate change. But at the same time, nearly half of the cities do not yet have plans to adapt to the new reality. The main reason: insufficient money.
One in four cities in the world does not have an adequate budget to protect itself from the effects of climate change, according to a study by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). And while potential problems should not be underestimated: think of floods, overheating, water shortages, and damage from extreme weather conditions. The same survey also shows that 43% of cities, with a population of 400 million, currently have no plans to adapt.
“Funding climate change adaptation is more difficult than financing measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Keira Appleby, CDP Director. Investments in renewable energy, such as solar panels, provide financial returns in the short or medium term. Still, the benefits of adapting to climate change are less measurable.
However, it has undeniable advantages, and not just because it reduces the risk of serious damage in the future. After all, the many ways cities can adapt are also green measures, often in the literal sense. For example, building gardens and planting trees can prevent overheating in cities. Then the residents will not only have a cooler place to live, but they will also have cleaner air and water. Also, walking in a beautiful park can do wonders for the physical and mental health of residents.
There are two cities that are already adapting, Bristol in Britain and Athens in Greece, for different reasons. In Bristol, they are currently building about 17 kilometers of flood defenses, which are likely to occur more frequently. Athena, on the other hand, is investing heavily in green roofs and planting trees to cool the city when the summer gets warmer than it is now.
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