ICLEI, Partners Summarize Implications of AR5 Findings for Cities

iclei-ecf-uoc29 May 2014: ICLEI– Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and European partners have released a summary of findings relevant to cities from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The briefing explains the science and technical details in AR5 that are of special consequence for the cities sector.

The publication aims to synthesize "the most pertinent findings of AR5" in an "accurate, accessible, timely, relevant and readable summary," so that city leaders can make better use of AR5. An infographic matching impacts with adaptation measures and listing mitigation actions cities can take in a variety of sectors accompanies the text.

Urban areas, which have concentrated populations and large concentrations of economic activity, are subject to many emerging climate change risks, according to the ICLEI summary report. The report highlights increasing impacts of climate change, including: rising sea levels; inland floods; storm surges; heavy rainfall and strong winds; frequent and stronger tropical cyclones; periods of increased heat; potential spread of disease; increased drought and water scarcity; air pollution; and ocean acidification.

The report further highlights that: rapid urbanization could double the number of people living in cities by 2050; sustainable development is key to successful climate change adaptation; and mitigation potential may be greatest in developing cities of industrializing countries. The publication emphasizes that, while adaptation is complex, it only becomes more expensive with time. A section dedicated to resilience considers needed steps in the areas of planning, funding, housing, basic services, water security and food security, as well as in response to rising temperatures, rising sea levels and storm surges, and extreme weather and inland flooding.

The European Climate Foundation (ECF), Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS) and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) partnered with ICLEI to produce the publication. [Publication: Climate Change: Implications for Cities] [CISL Publication Webpage] [ECF Publication Webpage]