Newsletter: Cities Mark the Path to Resilience

 

 

News and analysis on climate change adaptation.


Four Twenty Seven Climate Solutions

From the Desk of Aleka Seville, Director of Community Adaptation

With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas – a figure expected to increase to two-thirds by the middle of the century – it is no surprise that cities have a critical role to play in global efforts to both mitigate climate change and build resilience. City leaders can often work more nimbly than can state and national officials, developing innovative, localized approaches for reducing emissions, managing water supplies, or protecting communities from climate-related hazards.

There are limits to what cities can do on their own, however. Private companies will greatly benefit from the work that cities are engaged in to increase resilience – whether in the form of safer, more reliable public infrastructure or improved planning and preparation for more frequent extreme weather events. Cities are struggling to fund these efforts and often don’t have the internal capacity to evaluate or develop new financing options. While this creates an obvious opportunity for private companies to step in and step up to advance these projects, financing is just one way that cities and companies can collaborate. CDP’s recent report on cross sector collaboration in cities highlights diverse opportunities for cities to engage with their business communities ranging from knowledge sharing to project implementation to financing. Understanding what is already working in cities around the world is key to moving at the speed and scale required to protect our communities.

At Four Twenty Seven, we also see the value in these partnerships, but seek to further understand their impact, and leverage the specific factors that make them successful. How are cities defining their “ask” when working with private companies? What roles can our business community (both large and small) play in building community resilience? Which of our many “wicked” public policy problems will benefit most from business engagement? Increased cross sector collaboration is not an end in and of itself – but it can be a critical step in the right direction.

As on all fronts of the climate challenge, there is more work to do, but much promise in collaborating to build vibrant communities that are well prepared for the rest of the 21st century and beyond.

— Aleka Seville, Director of Community Adaptation

CDP Global Cities Report: The Case for Collaboration with the Private Sector

Recent analysis backs the potential of both economic growth and reductions in carbon emissions in cities, as demonstrated in new CDP report: It Takes a City: The Case for Collaborative Climate Action. 533 cities from across the globe disclosed data through the CDP cities program, with over half seeing opportunities to develop new business initiatives related to climate action. Together, investment in these desired private-sector initiatives total $26 billion. As noted in the BBC, cities have been a leading driver for setting sustainability targets, and CDP report shows they realize the need to reach outside city halls.

Audio Blog: Engaging the Private Sector on Climate Resilience


In an audio recording from a panel on The Economic Impacts of Climate Change at the 2016 California Adaptation Forum, Four Twenty Seven CEO Emilie Mazzacurati discusses how the private sector is responding to climate change risks and highlights opportunities for local governments to engage with local businesses on climate resilience in this audio recording from. Listen and follow along with slides from the presentation.

Resilience in Action: An Update on 100 Resilient Cities

Earlier this year the 100 Resilient Cities Project, started in 2013 by The Rockefeller Foundation, announced its full list of the first 100 cities to take part in a networked effort to improve their planning to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Through the program, cities get resources and guidance to build their resilience. For their third anniversary, 100 Resilient Cities released a report on progress towards building resilience into city institutions, sharing lessons learned from work in New Orleans, Melbourne, and Semarang, Indonesia. Download the full report here.

Mayors of Major World Cities Call for Help to Finance Climate Projects

To do their part in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, mayors from the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group are calling for national governments and financial institutions to enact reforms to make it easier to finance sustainable infrastructure projects. City leaders see the duty to act to protect their citizens, and building sustainable infrastructure has so far been a challenge in cities. To solve this, the cities are asking for direct access to international climate funds, and the power to control finance devolved from the national level, among other reforms.

Solutions for Building Resilience Through City Government

For governments, adapting successfully to a changing climate requires customized solutions and guidance. Four Twenty Seven provides climate adaptation consulting services to help local, regional, and state governments identify risks and vulnerabilities, overcome barriers, and leverage opportunities to build resilience. We have recently completed work with cities in the San Francisco Bay Area to develop custom tools to highlight local climate risks, aiding plans to protect against these hazards. Learn more about our award-winning products and services.

Upcoming Events

Join the Four Twenty Seven team in the field at these upcoming events:
  • October 29 – November 2American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Denver, CO: Meet with Director of Advisory Services Yoon Kim.
  • November 12-15: COP 22, Marrakesh, Morocco: Meet CEO Emilie Mazzacurati and CSO Camille LeBlanc at the Global Climate Finance Action Summit 2016 and Sustainable Investment Forum to discuss private sector and climate finance.
  • December 12-15: AGU 2016 Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA: Director of Analytics Nik Steinberg, Director of Finance Colin Shaw, and Climate Data Analyst Colin Gannon will be presenting on analyzing vulnerability to extreme heat events.
  • January 22-26: American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA: Nik will be presenting on a decision-support tool for extreme heat adaptation.
  • January 2426: NCSE 2017, Arlington, VA: Yoon will be moderating the panel “Climate Data & Public Health: Mobilizing Adaptation Action.”

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