With floods, storms, and wildfires dominating the headlines, it is no secret that climate threats are increasing. According to research from CDP, a nonprofit organization that promotes climate disclosure, 4 out of 5 cities have faced major climate dangers this year. By 2025, a quarter of the cities surveyed anticipate increasingly frequent “high-risk” climate threats.
For their Protecting People and the Planetanalysis, researchers surveyed 998 localities, and they discovered that 80% of those cities reported facing severe climate hazards in 2022, such as excessive heat (46%), heavy rainfall (36%), drought (35%) and flooding (33%) At least 70% of the populace in the cities in 28% of those with major climate hazards are at risk from these extreme weather occurrences.
The majority of respondents who currently experience substantial climate hazards also anticipate future disasters to be more severe or more frequent.
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As stated in a statement by Maia Kutner, Interim Global Director of Cities, States, and Regions at CDP, “2022 has been another disastrous year for climate change disasters, from the deadliest floods in Pakistan’s history to the worst drought across the continent of Europe in five centuries.” We frequently hear cliches like “unprecedented,” “worst ever,” or “first time in history,” yet these words hardly capture the harrowing effects that the planet’s rising temperature is having on both the planet and its inhabitants.
Cities that responded to the survey highlighted that their own resources are also in danger, with water supply being seen as the most vulnerable, followed by agriculture and waste management.
While the report does highlight somber worries from cities around the world, it also shows how people-centered climate action in cities has resulted in a number of positive outcomes, including an increase in green space, better air, soil, and water quality, better physical and mental health for city residents, and increased food and water security.
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According to Michael Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-Special General’s Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions, this report highlights the significant risks that cities across the globe face as a result of climate change as well as the advantages of taking action, such as improved public health, increased economic opportunity, and cleaner air.
Cities may advance more quickly the more residents they involve in their efforts to address the climate catastrophe and the more they are aware of the risks and advantages of doing so.
In response to the research, CDP is urging cities to create and carry out climate action plans that include science-based goals, a focus on and engagement with people, especially vulnerable populations, and collaboration with public and private sectors for funding.
First published on EcoWatch, the article 4 of 5 World Cities Faced “Significant Climate Hazards” in 2022.