Climate Change and Human Settlements

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Transcript Climate Change and Human Settlements

Dr. Markandey Rai
Nairobi, Kenya
Human Settlements
 For the first time in the history of humanity that it
has now become an urban specie where more than
half of humanity lives in an urban environment cities and towns.
 Cities are the greatest legacy of humanity and
greatest achievement of our civilization.
 Around the world and through the centuries, cities
have endured and survived wars, famine, natural
disasters, and the disappearances of the gods,
kings and queens for whom they were built.
 Better City, Better Life - theme of WHD 2010
Strategic steps for Better, City Better Life
 We are smart but we have to be smarter
 Improve the quality of life
 Invest in human capital
 Foster sustainable economic opportunity
 Enhance political inclusion
 Promote cultural inclusion
Natural disasters
 117 Million people suffered from some 300 natural
disasters in the pasted year
 Devastating drought in China and Africa
 Massive flooding in Asia and Africa costing $15
Human Settlements and Climate Change
 75% of commercial energy is consumed in urban
and semi-urban areas
 80% of all waste is generated from cities
 60% of Greenhouse Gas Emission emanate from
Climate Change at a glance
 Sea levels are rising twice as fast as forecasted
 Threatening hundreds of millions of people living
in deltas, low-lying areas and small island states
 Threat of sea-level rise to cities is only one piece of
 More extreme weather patterns such as intense
storms are another
Impact of Climate Change
 Impact will be felt more strongly in years to come
 When sea levels rise just more than one meter
many major coastal cities will be under threat:
 Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, New
York, Lagos, Alexandria-Cairo, Mumbai, Kolkata,
Dhaka, Shanghai, Osaka-Kobe and Tokyo …etc.
Impact of Climate Change
 Many smaller coastal cities especially in
developing counties and small island will suffer
 Climate refugees from rural areas aggravate the
migration to cities
 UN predicts that millions of people will migrate by
2020 due to climate change as major driver.
The Impacts of Climate Change
on Cities
 Extreme weather events damage buildings and urban infrastructure
 Coastal cities affected by sea level rise
 Water resources stress: floods and droughts
 Human Health – malaria; waterborne diseases; polluted water
 Food Security – Livelihoods – Tourism
 Climate refugees move to urban slums
< Sea Level Rise
Landslides >
v Tropical cyclones
Flooding v
Cities and Climate Change
 How serious the crisis is when it comes to cities
and climate change?
 How do we tackle the impact of climate change in
cities where half of us live is a challenge?
 Cities are front line actors in carbon emissions and
climate change
We are the problem and we are
the solution
 UN-HABITAT analysis shows that rational land
use planning, green building codes and energy
efficient transport options have proven, to date, to
be amongst the most effective measures that can
be taken to reduce energy consumption and
 Together with waste recycling these are the most
promising at reducing the ecological footprint of
Urban planning – Sustainable building
Urban transport modes – Renewable energy generation
Vulnerability of Human Settlements
 More than half world’s population lives within 60
km of the sea
 Three quarters of all cities are located on the coast
 Most of the urban population resides in vulnerable
areas which are ill-equipped for adaptation
 1 billion population living in slums are likely to
become environmental refugees
Adaptation & Mitigation
 Adaptation = To manage the un-avoidable
 Mitigation = To avoid the un-manageable
 Adaptation and Mitigation are interconnected and
mutually supportive
 Adaptation capacity to face the impact is needed
to respond climate change
 Adaptation requires wealth, technology, decision
making capabilities, human capital, social capital,
risk spreading, ability to manage information etc
 UN is playing a unique role in addressing climate
 UN efforts to strengthen in mitigation, adaptation
and technology transfer should not be
 UN-HABITAT supports national and local
authorities to cope with the impact of climate
 Working in over 100 cities globally through various
UN-HABITAT’S Programmes
 Sustainable Cities Programme
 Localizing Agenda 21
 Cities and Climate Change
 Sustainable Urban Development Network (SUDNet)
 Cities and Climate Change Initiative (CCCI)
 World Urban Campaign
Climate Change Challenge and Mitigation
 Challenge provides opportunities
 Most severe impacts on vulnerable populations
who have contributed the least to the problem
 Addressing Climate change improves in
economies, governance, and aids in achieving the
 Requires much greater international support and
 Additional 1% of the GDP of rich country in 2015
Climate change may unite the international community
Climate change is a threat to humankind
People’s participation can bridge the gap
If cities are the part of problem then they must be part of
the solution
 Local authorities can find local answers to global
 Governments need an accurate and objective assessment of
climate science in order to devise policies
 UN-IPPC meet in Bussan, South Korea, is the best opportunity to
demonstrate their commitment to climate science
Thank you!