Cities and Climate Change

image of Cities and Climate Change

As the hubs of economic activity, cities drive the vast majority of the world’s energy use and are major contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions. Because they are home to major infrastructure and highly concentrated populations, cities are also vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels, warmer temperatures and fiercer storms. At the same time, better urban planning and policies can reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and improve the resilience of urban infrastructure to climate change, thus shaping future trends.  

This book shows how city and metropolitan regional governments working in tandem with national governments can change the way we think about responding to climate change. The chapters analyse: trends in urbanisation, economic growth, energy use and climate change; the economic benefits of climate action; the role of urban policies in reducing energy demand, improving resilience to climate change and complementing global climate policies; frameworks for multilevel governance of climate change including engagement with relevant stakeholders; and the contribution of cities to “green growth”, including the “greening” of fiscal policies, innovation and jobs. The book also explores policy tools and best practices from both OECD and some non-member countries.  

Cities and Climate Change reveals the importance of addressing climate change across all levels of government. Local involvement through “climate-conscious” urban planning and management can help achieve national climate goals and minimise tradeoffs between environmental and economic priorities at local levels. The book will be relevant to policy makers, researchers, and others with an interest in learning more about urbanisation and climate change policy. 



Contribution of Cities to a Green Growth Model

Environmental policies that do not also support growth will not be sustainable over the long term. Chapter 5 discusses the role of cities in contributing to a new global green growth model at a time when governments must reduce their carbon footprint while pursuing economic growth and job creation. The chapter highlights the main policy areas through which city and regional governments can contribute to green growth objectives, including developing and maintaining green public infrastructure, improving the eco-efficiency of production, boosting demand by fostering the greening of consumption preferences and facilitating green innovation. Tools need to be developed for assessing the effectiveness of such policies in reaching their objectives of job creation and output growth and the chapter provides a first step through an analytical framework that can orient future research on this crucial issue.


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