Half of all the people in the world now live in cities. Urban life has its advantages, but denser populations make residents more vulnerable to extreme weather and food and water shortages, which are likely to increase with global warming. So some cities are taking action now to prepare.

World and money graphic

A recent study analyzed how much money is spent on climate adaptation in ten of the world’s biggest cities, ranging from New York to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

It found that cities in developing countries spend less to prepare than cities in wealthier countries. But the researchers also discovered that they spend less per resident, and devote a smaller proportion of their resources to adaptation. This indicates that climate preparedness is currently driven more by wealth than by the number of vulnerable people.

Lucien Georgeson
Lucien Georgeson

Georgeson: “Our study is like a warning sign as to whether enough is being done in the cities in developing countries.”

That’s Lucien Georgeson from University College London. He says developing cities have many other competing needs.

Georgeson: “It’s harder for them to put those resources into adaptation.”

Study: Gov'ts need to focus on protecting what'll be most affected by climate change - their people. Click To Tweet

So the study concludes that local and national governments need to focus on protecting what will be most affected by climate change . . . their people.

Reporting credit: Pam Memmott/ChavoBart Digital Media.
Money photo: Copyright protected.

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Adaptation responses to climate change differ between global megacities

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