A new analysis shows that globally four out of five cities (80%) face significant climate hazards, from extreme heat to floods, in 2022. A quarter of the global cities (25%) face a high-risk climate hazard that is expected to be more intense and frequent by 2025.
The analysis released by CDP Global said cities should put people at the heart of their climate action, from assessment to implementation, as almost a third of them say climate hazards threaten nearly three quarters of their inhabitants.
The analysis in the report Protecting People and the Planet is based on responses of 998 cities from across the globe to CDP-ICLEI Track in 2022. It shows that cities taking at least one people-centred climate action - where the needs and experiences of people, especially vulnerable groups, are examined and considered from the assessment to implementation stages of action - are realizing multiple additional benefits, on top of reducing emissions.
In a year that has seen major climate disasters on a monthly basis, the analysis shows the extent of the vulnerabilities facing cities from the increasing severity of climate change’s impacts.
Four in five cities (80%) report facing significant climate hazards in 2022 - such as extreme heat (46%), heavy rainfall (36%), drought (35%) and urban flooding (33%) - while for nearly a third of cities (28%), these hazards threaten the vast majority, at least 70%, of their populations.
Close to two thirds of cities (62%) expect these hazards to be more intense in future while over half (52%) anticipate them being more frequent. Moreover, a quarter (25%) are facing a high-risk hazard, such as extreme heat, that they expect to be both more intense and frequent by 2025.
With people living in cities at risk from the impacts of climate change, from floods to heatwaves, cities have identified those most exposed to climate hazards. The elderly (64% of cities), low-income households (64%), children (52%) and marginalized and minority communities (47%) are reported as the most vulnerable groups.
The resources city inhabitants depend on each day are also threatened by climate change, with water supply (46% of cities), agriculture (43%) and waste management (41%) considered at greatest risk.
CDP Global interim global director Maia Kutner said, “From the deadliest floods in Pakistan’s history to the worst drought across the continent of Europe in five centuries, 2022 has been another devastating year for climate change events.
“Putting people at the heart of climate action, from planning to implementation, improves lives. It unlocks social, economic and environmental benefits, enhances equity and inclusion, and ensures a just transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Ms. Kutner.
The report also examines the factors which support and hinder cities from adapting to climate change. Over half of cities (57%) report factors challenging their ability to take climate action, with the most common being budgetary capacity (25%).