The world is literally living on the edge, as according to reports, more than 500 cities all over the world are going through tremendous climate changes.
Among these changes, the ones that top the list and bag the apex position are floods, droughts and heat waves. There were cities surveyed, and about 85% of these report show climate hazards. This survey was carried out by the environmental nonprofit CDP and made an alarming declaration sighting “Cities at Risk”. These cities facing these hazards include, flooding in London, rough winters in New York and fire forests of Quito, Ecuador.
This program known as CDP is an annual survey program that commenced in 2011. The director of this program, Kyra Appleby said that the cities which responded to this survey in 2018 were comparatively more than those which responded in 2011. There were 48 surveys responses in the year 2011 and about a whooping 620 last year. The organisation CDP has offices in Delhi, London and New York. It was reportedly seen that the number of surveys saw a hike after the Paris Agreement in 2015.
The people of the world which are exposed to so many climate risks have become more and more susceptible, which will in turn increase the demand for public health services. The report of CDP which has been made public clearly outline the risks and climatic conditions that can wreak havoc. But despite of all these warning signs, about only a 46% cities are looking in the right direction, by executing vulnerability assessments. These well aware 46% cities are doing this to incorporate ways in which they can suitably adapt to these climate changes. As per reports, it has been proven that these insightful cities who look into the matters of climate and the overall benefits of the citizens, have adopted about six times more adaptation measures.
“Cities have a lot of agency especially in adaptation actions,” Appleby said. “They can map what the physical hazards are, and then because they are closest to their citizens and population, they can understand what the impacts can be.”
These adaptation and alteration measures and steps include, flood mapping, tree planting, crisis management and an ingenious long-term planning.
“We’re seeing cities opening up cooling centers, they’re putting up canopies and planting trees,” Appleby said. “But they might not think of it as an adaptation action.”
In line with these reports, it is deduced that cities worldwide must look at environmental changes, adopt measures and correct themselves to make alterations. What’s more is that they should keep maintain a state of equilibrium between investments in infrastructure projects and keep guard against any climate changes.
As the world is becoming more and more technological equipped and people are turning to metropolitan cities. With this rate of overcrowding in the cities, its estimated that around 2050, that two-thirds of world population will reside in cities. Moreover, the mass movement to cities is not what these towns themselves can handle. There are about 42% climate risk apparent for the cities in the short term and an alarming 11% in the long run.
Appleby opines that the data given by the cities don’t fall in accuracy with the one received from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Thus making the task to predict any future environmental changes even more challenging and the impacts greater than expected. This will as a consequence, reverse any progress made in the economy and society as a whole.
News source – Scientific American