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.