Climate change represents one of the most serious challenges currently facing urban poverty reduction. Despite uncertainties within the field of climate science, there is a broad consensus that human-induced carbon emissions are already causing climate change. At a global level, the poor are most likely to experience its effects; in particular, the urban poor majority in cities of the global South are among the most vulnerable to climate-related disasters and changing patterns of severe weather.
Over the past two decades alone, disasters have claimed more than two million lives, with 98 per cent of casualties occurring in developing countries, and climate-related disasters accounting for two-thirds of the total. As well as one-off events, urban residents’ homes and livelihoods are also threatened by slow, insidious, weather-related changes brought about by climate change. In urban areas where institutional responses are limited by resources or capacity, households, small businesses and communities are leading adaptation efforts at the local level.
This unit will explore how best to strengthen the resilience of these communities to climate change and climate-related disasters, in support of sustainable urban poverty reduction.