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. 



Local and Regional Governance

Each stage of the local policy-making process presents an opportunity to incorporate climate change priorities, agenda setting, policy design, implementation and policy evaluation. Chapter 7 discusses these opportunities and the issues for horizontal co-ordination that they raise. Co-ordination across city departments as well as across municipalities in the same metropolitan region is needed to implement climate policies in a cross-sectoral manner. Co-ordination among cities and surrounding municipalities is especially crucial given that many urban initiatives to mitigate and adapt to climate change require changes that are broader than just one city’s jurisdiction. While some municipal governments have led the way to co-ordinate climate change action at the metropolitan regional level, greater incentives and more effective co-ordination mechanisms are needed. Regional initiatives can have a broader impact on climate priorities given their scale and potentially greater access to funding and technical expertise.


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