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UN-HABITAT Releases Report on Cities and Climate Change

29 March 2011: The UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) has released a report titled "Global Report on Human Settlements 2011 – Cities and Climate Change," which indicates that while cities are responsible for the largest proportion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, they provide clear economic and social opportunities for their inhabitants if they are planned sustainably.

The report underscores that the greatest efficiencies can be made in cities and stresses the role city authorities can play in devising adaptation and mitigation strategies to build resilient cities. It suggests three areas in which the international community can support and enable more effective urban mitigation and adaptation responses, namely: making financial resources directly available to local players, including for climate change adaptation in vulnerable cities, for investment in a portfolio of alternative energy options, and in mitigation partnerships between local governments and local private sector organizations; easing bureaucratic burdens on local access to international support, with the international community helping to create direct communication and accountability channels between local actors and international donors; and spreading widely information on climate change science and options for mitigation and adaptation responses by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN and other international organizations, including available knowledge on observed and future climate impacts on urban centres, on urban-based mitigation and adaptation alternatives, and on the costs, benefits, potentials and limits of these options.

The report was launched in preparation for the 23rd biennial meeting of the UN-HABITAT Governing Council to be held from 11-15 April 2011. [UN-HABITAT Press Release] [Publication: Global Report on Human Settlements 2011 – Cities and Climate Change]