Climate Resilience

Today’s new normal requires models of governance that mitigate risk and respond to evolving challenges.

What is climate resilience?

Climate change is here, and its impacts are growing more severe. It is a serious challenge for cities around the world, particularly in developing countries where urbanization is happening at neck breaking speed. It impacts on human health, livelihoods and key infrastructure. Multiple climate and non-climate hazards impact cities and their critical infrastructure and compounding risks coincide, magnifying damage. Heatwaves have intensified in cities, where they have also aggravated air pollution events and limited functioning of key infrastructure. Infrastructure, including transportation, water, sanitation and energy systems have been compromised by extreme and slow-onset events, with resulting economic losses, disruptions of services and impacts to well-being.

Climate change threatens to increase vulnerabilities, destroy economic gains, and hinder social and economic development. Poor and vulnerable communities, for example in informal settlements, will bear the brunt of its effects due to greater exposure to hazards. As cities come to terms with the threat, they need to plan for a response that acknowledges the heightened vulnerability of their most marginalized inhabitants.

Global efforts to slow climate change are promising, but insufficient. Building resilience and adapting to climate change is a high priority for cities as they invest in adapting to already present impacts. Besides mitigation, cities are seizing opportunities to accelerate adaptation action because climate resilience saves lives, reduces poverty, addresses underlying inequities and delivers strong economic returns.

Building climate resilience cannot happen without climate adaptation that ensures communities and cities can withstand climate risks. Accelerating adaptation means identifying climate risks, factoring those risks and adaptation responses into policy and investment decisions, supporting locally led adaptation and mobilizing finance for climate resilient solutions.

News and Resources

Our Collective Call: A New Agenda for Urban Resilience Action

Our Collective Call: A New Agenda for Urban Resilience Action

   The financial crisis and Covid-19 evidenced how in a complex, interconnected world, impacts spread quickly, causing failures of critical functions. Challenges are most ...
Second Year of Global Partnership Between Sustainable Markets Initiative, Howden and Resilient Cities Network Advances Urban Resilience in Five New Cities

Second Year of Global Partnership Between Sustainable Markets Initiative, Howden and Resilient Cities Network Advances Urban Resilience in Five New Cities

Drawing on the successes of the inaugural Global Risk and Resilience Fellowship cohort in 2023, the second cohort of the Fellowship focuses on strengthening collaboration between cities and the ...
Speaker Series 2024 #3 | Addressing Extreme Heat

Speaker Series 2024 #3 | Addressing Extreme Heat

As cities around the world continue to grow, they face escalating challenges from the impacts of climate change, with extreme heat emerging as a critical concern. Urban areas, with their dense ...

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