Monday, February 29, 2016

Which Mega-Cities Offer Best Protection from Climate Change?

The world's wealthy cities received a large part of the $323 billion governments spent on measures to adapt to climate change last year, but vulnerable cities in the developing world are falling behind, said a study published on Monday.

Developing-world cities with more than 3 million residents such as Addis Ababa, Lagos, and Jakarta, spent a smaller percentage of their GDP on protecting their inhabitants from worsening extreme weather and rising seas than their rich counterparts such as New York or Paris, the study said.

That suggests spending on climate adaptation is more strongly linked to protecting capital than helping the world's poor avert the worst impacts of global warming, said researchers from University College London, who conducted the study.

New York, for example, spends about $269 per capita on climate change adaptation, while Lagos, Nigeria's largest city, which is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels, spends just $8 per person annually.

Developed-world cities, on average, spend about 0.22 percent of their GDP on climate change adaptation, while cities in developing countries spend about 0.15 percent.

China's capital, Beijing, is an exception in the developing world, allocating 0.33 percent of its total wealth to climate adaptation, said the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Global spending on responses to climate change - including flood barriers, more resilient infrastructure and better drainage systems - is set to increase as the planet warms and weather becomes more erratic, the study said.

Public and private sector spending on climate change adaptation and resilience in ten megacities in 2014/15. Expressed as total spend in millions of pounds (left) and as a percentage of the city’s GDP (GDPc; right).  [Credit: Georgeson et al, (2016)] Click to Enlarge.
The researchers calculated spending on climate change adaptation for ten of the world's mega-cities:

Read more at Which Mega-Cities Offer Best Protection from Climate Change?

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