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Cities and climate change

Public lecture hosted by LSE Cities

Urban areas will have to play an increasingly important role as part of strategies addressing global climate change: due to their wealth, they disproportionately contribute to global carbon emissions. At the same time, dense, compact cities have repeatedly shown to be far more carbon efficient than other settlement types of similar affluence.

The need for urban areas to adapt to some of the unavoidable consequences of climate change is acute due to the particular threats of extreme weather that come with it. Without addressing the risks associated with complex urban systems and infrastructure, an ever-increasing urban population might end up living in the more vulnerable locations of cities and mega-cities, potential disaster traps.

Joan Clos, United Nations Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT examined climate change in an urban context and discussed UN Habitat’s new Global Report on Human Settlements: Cities and Climate Change.

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  • Joan Clos

    Joan Clos

    Joan Clos is Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and Under-Secretary General of the United Nations. Prior to this he served two terms as Mayor of Barcelona (1997-2006); was the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Trade of Spain (2006-2008); and acted as the Spanish ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan before joining the UN in 2010. Dr. Clos has received a number of awards, including a gold medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1999 for transforming Barcelona.

  • Tony Travers

    Tony Travers

    Tony Travers is Director of the IPA and also of LSE London.  He is a professor in the Department of Government. His key research interests include local and regional government and public service reform. He has been an advisor to the Communities & Local Government Select Committee and also to other Parliamentary committees. He has published a number of books on cities and government, including Failure in British GovernmentThe Politics of the Poll Tax (with David Butler and Andrew Adonis); Paying for Health, Education and Housing: How does the Centre Pull the Purse Strings (with Howard Glennerster and John Hills); The Politics of London: Governing the Ungovernable City and, most recently, London’s Boroughs at 50. He has chaired a number of official commissions, including the Independent Commission on Local Government Finance in Wales and the London Finance Commission.