Clear and decisive pathways for cities to become resilient against climate change are spelled out in the new report “Climate Change and Cities (ARC3.2).” The the 800+ page report report was issued on March 6, 2018 by the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) and is UCCRN’s Second Assessment Report (Cambridge University Press) where over 350 scientists from all over the world weigh in, guiding cities to prepare for climate change. The ARC3.2 urban scientists not only guide, but warn of dangerous temperature hikes in 100 cities around the world and predict temperatures will increase 1.1°C (33.98°F) to 2.0°C (35.6°F) in the next ten years. The outlook for sea level rise is as grim: in 52 cities the projected sea level can rise from 4 to 19 cm (1.5 inches – 7.48 inches) by the 2020s.
The ARC3 reports are about the entire gestalt of dealing with urban climate change, stressing the need for science-based assessments that cover climate risks, adaptation, mitigation, and policies relevant to cities. The report includes a Case Study Docking Station with over 150 case studies from cities around the world which classifies the report as an invaluable resource for urban government officials and decision makers. The case study information leads the way and shows how researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners are working together to achieve low-carbon resilient cities. The report also gives concrete solutions for cities on Mitigation and Adaptation; Urban Planning and Design; Environmental Equity and Justice; Economics, Finance, and the Private Sector; Urban Health; Urban Sectors such as Energy, Water, Transportation, Housing and Informal Settlements, and Solid Waste Management; and Governing Carbon and Climate in Cities. Other key topics include Ecosystems and Biodiversity, and Urban Coastal Zones.
“The report released today presents massive evidence that cities and city leaders can and are playing a central role in the global climate change challenge,” says William Solecki, Co-Director of UCCRN. “The need for small incremental actions is rapidly being superseded by demands for larger-scale transformative action.” The actions Solecki refers to include: 1) Integrate rather than isolate mitigation and adaptation actions; 2) Link near-term disaster risk reduction with climate change adaptation; 3) Co-generate climate action plans with stakeholders and scientists; 4) Address the needs of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable citizens; and 5) Advance finance and good government, and share lessons learned through city networks.
UCCRN was established in May 2007 during the C40-Large Cities Climate Summit held in New York City. The initial group consisted of 100 researchers in 60 cities whose goal was to provide climate change science to the C40 cities for urban decision makers to use to make climate science based policies.