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Climate change and cities: why urban agendas are central to adaptation and mitigation

Opinion paper, 2 pages
PDF  17025IIED.pdf (89.95 KB)

Cities could hold the key to slowing and eventually stopping global warming. Most greenhouse gas emissions are generated from producing the goods and services used by middle- and upper-income urban consumers. Keeping global warming within safe limits demands far more energy-efficient urban buildings and production systems and urban lifestyles that are far less carbon-intensive. It is up to high-income nations — the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions past and present — to show how such a transformation can be combined with high living standards. However, urgent action is also needed in the urban areas of low- and middle-income countries, both through mitigation to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and adaptation to the serious risks that climate change brings.

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