This report authored by the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) and the UNESCO Chair on Urban Resilience at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU.Resilience) explores the link between Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and urban development. The NDCs are the national climate plans of countries to cut emissions and adapt to climate impacts. The results of this global analysis were presented at the Conference of Parties (COP27) and represent efforts to further integrate national climate policies and urban climate actions.
The significance of the report comes from the fact that cities account for nearly three-quarter of emissions and consume 78 per cent of the world’s energy while occupying only two per cent of the global land. Cities are critical while formulating climate targets and leaders of cities have a pivotal role in ensuring that countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, become climate resilient, and adopt policies which will help achieve the 1.5 degree Celsius target of the Paris Agreement.
The report found that energy, transport and mobility and waste are the most mentioned sectors in urban mitigation challenges; also, mitigation responses are frequently mentioned at the national level rather than at the urban level. It also found that NDCs had infrastructure and water as the most mentioned sectors in adaptation challenges. The report states also that “Gender is almost not considered at all within urban mitigation and adaptation challenges, and it is minimally considered in urban climate mitigation and adaptation responses.”
For policy makers, government leaders, and people tracking their city’s efforts on the issue, this report would be useful. It lays out the need to explicitly identify urban climate challenges to improve the response of cities and provides parameters to track implementation and progress of the plans.