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Environment

September 18, 2020 - EcoWatch

UN: 'Climate-Smart' Cities Are the Future – Here Are Three Examples

UN: 'Climate-Smart' Cities Are the Future – Here Are Three Examples
Electric buses, public transport, Santiago, ChileCredit: BYD

More than half of the world's population lives in cities, and most future population growth is predicted to happen in urban areas. But the concentration of large numbers of people and the ecosystems built around their lives has also been a driver of climate change.

Cities are responsible for 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). And they are highly exposed to many of the impacts of the climate change they contribute to, in particular heat stress, flooding and health emergencies. Making cities more resilient, sustainable, inclusive and safe is one of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 11), requiring sustained investment.

By becoming more "climate-smart," as the UN calls it, cities can combat the mounting pressure of climate change they both cause and suffer from. Ultimately, improving the urban infrastructure in this way, cities can enhance their resilience, reduce climate risk and increase liveability and competitiveness.

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