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ECLAC Publishes Three Studies Analyzing Cities' Responses to Climate Change

5 March 2014|News

Only a limited number of Latin American cities have climate strategies and plans, one of the documents says.


paneles solares
Foto: EFE/Sherwin

Diverse strategies for urban planning and climate change mitigation and adaptation are examined in three documents published by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), which alert countries to the consequences that this phenomenon can trigger in the region's big cities.

Even though Latin America and the Caribbean generates only 5 percent of the planet's greenhouse gases (GHG), the impact of climate change could be devastating, according to the study Low Carbon Development Strategies in Latin America's Megacities (Spanish only), prepared in the framework of a cooperation program betweenECLAC and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

Cities are exposed to phenomena linked to climate change, such as flooding, extreme heat, droughts and landslide risks, among others. But urbanization also offers opportunities to develop mitigation and adaptation strategies, the document says.

The study identifies economic, technological and regulatory measures related to urban infrastructure to mitigate and adapt to climate change in megacities. In particular, the areas analyzed are Water and Sanitation, Transportation and Mobility, Solid Urban Waste and Construction.

Additionally, the publication examines the environmental impact of Latin America's existing fiscal policies (direct and indirect), and recommends new measures to mitigate climate change in six cities under study: Santiago, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Lima, Bogota and Sao Paulo.

The book Urban Responses to Climate Change in Latin America (Spanish only) also aims to serve as a support tool for formulating policies by examining available information worldwide on mitigation and adaptation to climate change in urban areas.

"The scant attention given to this issue in the region reflects the very limited number of Latin American cities that currently have climate strategies and plans," said the study carried out by ECLAC and the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI), with the patronage of the National Science Foundation of the United States.

Along with these books, there is a previous publication entitled Climate Change Adaptation in Latin American Megacities (Spanish only), which documents the state of urban adaptation to climate change in the region.

Published with support from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, along with Germany's Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ, the document sets out the presentations and discussions held by participants in three Regional Learning Network workshops of the ClimateAdaptationSantiago (CAS) project, which took place at ECLAC.