Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Does Your City have a Climate Action Plan?

Reduction of flood and associated extreme weat...
Reduction of flood and associated extreme weather costs is the primary benefit of climate change mitigation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Climate change response in Europe: what’s the reality? Analysis of adaptation and mitigation plans from 200 urban areas in 11 countries(Abstract, D. Reckien, J. Flacke, R. J. Dawson, O. Heidrich, M. Olazabal, A. Foley, J. J.-P. Hamann, H. Orru, M. Salvia, S. De Gregorio Hurtado, D. Geneletti, F. Pietrapertosa, CLmate Change, Nov. 25, 2013) 

Also discussed here: The Reality Behind Europe's Response to Climate Change(Science Daily, Nov. 25, 2013) 

Today we review an objective review of what action cities in Europe are taking to mitigate climate change though greenhouse gas emission reductions and adapt to climate change by building resilience into their infrastructures among other things. The result of this review revealed that only ¼ of the cities surveyed (50 out of 200) are prepared to deal with both mitigation and adaptation. If those cities represented the emissions from their 11 respective countries, they would miss the desired global target of 80% reduction by 2050 by only reaching 37% reduction which translates into 27% for the EU as a whole. The authors call for an international database to monitor progress by the world’s cities - something that might be developed before the 2015 Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris where hard targets after 2020 are to be agreed on.

Key Quotes: 

“We performed a detailed analysis of 200 large and medium-sized cities across 11 European countries and analysed the cities’ climate change adaptation and mitigation plans” 

“Their analysis is the first to look objectively at strategic policy and planning documents rather than relying on self-reported measures such as questionnaires and interviews of city representatives.” 

“35 % of European cities studied have no dedicated mitigation plan and 72 % have no adaptation plan.” 

“One quarter of the cities have both an adaptation and a mitigation plan and set quantitative GHG reduction targets” 

“Dutch cities are the most ambitious aiming to be 'carbon-', 'climate-' or 'energy-neutral' (100 percent reduction target) by 2050 or earlier.” 

“if the planned actions within cities are nationally representative the 11 countries investigated would achieve a 37 % reduction in GHG emissions by 2050, translating into a 27 % reduction in GHG emissions for the EU as a whole.” 

"To better understand the global climate change response and emissions reduction actions, we recommend the establishment of an international database of mitigation and adaptation options that builds upon this European study,"

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