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.
Our programs on climate resilience
News and Resources
Alief and Trinity Houston Gardens: Communities Working Towards Resilience
Speaker Series 2023 #1 Resilience for Communities (R4C): Measuring Vulnerability and Building Equitable Resilience
Episode 9: Progress at COP27 and climate finance featuring Glasgow
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