How climate adaptation in cities creates a resilient place for business
Based on the CDP responses from 207 global cities
207 cities across the globe are taking the lead on climate adaptation, protecting 394,360,000 people from the effects of climate change and creating resilient places to do business
CDP, C40 and AECOM are proud to present findings from an unprecedented number of cities disclosing their climate mitigation, adaptation and water management data. In 2014, 207 cities reported to CDP, an 88% increase since last year thanks to a groundbreaking grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies.
As a result, the data is clearer than ever before that cities are leading the way on climate change. In 2014, 108 cities reported their carbon emissions inventories. The cities of Denver (USA), London (UK), Madrid (Spain), Durban (South Africa) and Taipei (Taiwan) reduced their emissions by a total of 13.1 million tons CO2 equivalent since 2009, a 12% reduction. Cities are also increasing their resilience to the impacts of climate change. This year, cities reported 757 adaptation activities and 102 cities have climate adaptation plans.
There is significant opportunity for collaboration between city governments and business to improve climate resilience. CDP’s data shows there is also increased action across the private sector. Last year, a record number of financial institutions, representing $92 trillion in assets, asked the companies they invest in to disclose their climate emissions, risks and actions, leading to greater management and accountability. In this report, we analyze data from cities and companies to understand what impacts cities expect businesses could face from climate change and how greater climate resilience makes cities more attractive to business.
Cities are reducing the climate risks faced by citizens and businesses through investment in infrastructure and services and by developing policies and incentives that influence action by others. These efforts to understand and reduce climate risks improve the cities’ economic competitiveness. The city of Oslo, for example, reports, “[w]e estimate Oslo is relatively resilient compared with other Norwegian cities. This could then make Oslo more attractive for business settlement.”
The benefits that business brings to cities, including jobs, tax revenue and services, are one of the drivers for cities to improve their climate resilience. Similarly, businesses are reliant on public infrastructure and environmental policies to support and guide their operations. This report shows how cooperation between cities and businesses leads to better resilience city-wide. Both sectors can benefit from a greater understanding of each other’s climate change risks, and companies can help reduce city-wide risks by embedding local adaptation needs within their business operations.
We congratulate the 207 cities that disclosed their environmental data to CDP this year and the significant impacts they have already made in tackling climate change. While this report focuses on how cities’ actions create more attractive, resilient places for business, it is not the responsibility of cities alone to mitigate and adapt to climate change. This report provides cities with unprecedented information and insights into the physical risks businesses face locally and how their actions help reduce those risks. We hope this will support cities in their mission to create attractive places to work and live.