This report discusses the link between climate change and cities, why cities should be concerned about climate change and adopt early preventative policies, and how the World Bank and other organizations can provide further support to cities on climate change issues. It includes a discussion about the Urban Risk Assessment (URA) recently launched by the World Bank in partnership with United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and supported by Cities Alliance, which lays out a comprehensive methodology for cities to assess both increasing risk from climate change, along with their already full agenda of current disaster risk reduction efforts and improved provision of basic services, especially to the poor.
It focuses on three broad issues pertaining to cities and climate change: (i) how cities contribute to and are affected by climate change; (ii) how policy makers can use cities to change human behaviour and improve technology related to climate change; and (iii) how cities should use climate change as an opportunity to raise their profile, reinforce sensible policies, and move toward a more sustainable community and planet. It is organized into five parts: (i) setting the stage with a summary of the main messages of the World Development Report 2010: Development and Climate Change; (ii) analysing the impact that climate change has on cities and highlighting at-risk coastal cities and particularly poor cities or neighbourhoods within a city, and explaining why climate change is an urgent issue for cities; (iii) discussing the contribution of cities and urban agglomerations to GHG emissions; (iv) discussing why most cities have been slow to join the "green cities" club; and (v) summarising how the Bank and the international community could help.
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