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Climate Change

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Climate Change

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Icons-12The effects of urbanization and climate change are converging in dangerous ways. Cities are major contributors to climate change: although they cover less than 2 per cent of the earth’s surface, cities consume 78 per cent of the world’s energy and produce more than 60% of all carbon dioxide and significant amounts of other greenhouse gas emissions, mainly through energy generation, vehicles, industry, and biomass use. At the same time, cities and towns are heavily vulnerable to climate change. Hundreds of millions of people in urban areas across the world will be affected by rising sea levels, increased precipitation, inland floods, more frequent and stronger cyclones and storms, and periods of more extreme heat and cold.

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Climate Change Causes Habitat Loss and Species Extinction

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Climate Change Causes Habitat Loss and Species Extinction

Each species evolves to thrive in its own particular ecological niche – to live in a particular "home" with specific living conditions (including temperatures ranges and other plant and animal species). Some species are more adaptable than others. For example, rats and dogs can survive under many different conditions, but koalas can only live where there is eucalyptus, and pandas where there are bamboo. Human-caused climate change will alter temperatures, precipitation and sea level – wiping out some habitats and shifting others faster than many species can migrate.

A polar bear walks along the edge of 'the ice bridge' in the Robeson channel, near the border between Greenland and Canada. Polar bears are facing extinction as they are losing vast areas of their sea ice habitat due to global warming. 06/28/2009 © Nick Cobbing / Greenpeace

Unless we drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we can expect several factors to combine that will make the coming die out astonishingly severe. The climate is changing faster than at almost any time in our plane's history. Also, many ecosystems are already stressed by human activities – destructive logging, excessive grazing, over fishing, toxic pollution and the like. And expanding human development destroys habitats and impedes many species from migrating – superhighways effectively block land animals, for example.

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Climate Initiative

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Climate Initiative

Climate Initiative

There is unprecedented, international support to address climate change. The Paris Agreement – a global and legally binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to well below 2oC is now in force. The Sustainable Development Goals provide clear 2030 goals on a range of environmental and social issues – including Goal 13 which is an explicit requirement to combat climate change. And recently, the international community reached two more milestone agreements, one on limiting international carbon emissions from aviation, and one on reducing HFCs – one of the more potent greenhouse gases. The challenge is now to ensure business, governments and civil society work together to deliver on the existing commitments ahead of the first review period in 2018.

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President Trump Decision to Leave Paris Agreement is a Colossal Mistake

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STATEMENT: President Trump Decision to Leave Paris Agreement is a Colossal Mistake

Statement - June 01, 2017
President Trump Decision to Leave Paris Agreement is a Colossal Mistake

WASHINGTON (June 1, 2017) —Today President Trump announced that the United States will withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Following is a statement by Andrew Steer, President & CEO, World Resources Institute:

“This decision is a colossal mistake. It shows a stunning disregard for the well-being of people and the planet. President Trump will now have to answer for walking away from one of the most hard-fought and popular global achievements in recent memory.

“Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement will leave the U.S. diplomatically adrift, at odds with nearly 200 countries. There are now 194 countries united in their determination on climate, while a group of three – Syria, Nicaragua, and the United States – stand apart.

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Cities taking action, learning from each other to adapt to climate change

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Cities taking action, learning from each other to adapt to climate change

News Published 27 Feb 2017 Last modified 08 Mar 2017
Despite budgetary challenges, cities and towns across Europe are taking action to put in place measures that will help them adapt to the impacts of climate change. A new European Environment Agency (EEA) report released today highlights the opportunities open to municipalities to share best practices and how they can support projects like green roofs or expanding city parks to help alleviate the negative effects of climate change.

Image © Areal picture: Mathias Friedel, vision: Triebhaus Landschaftsarchitekten Hamburg, montage: Rolf Kuchling

The EEA report “Financing urban adaptation to climate change,” takes a closer look at innovative funding options now being used, such as green bonds and crowdfunding, alongside traditional funding channels. The report includes case studies that analyse how 11 cities across Europe are developing, funding and implementing urban adaptation measures. The case studies outline various projects that will help cities better protect themselves from the damage caused by extreme weather events. These include building more green spaces and installing green roofs, which enhance water retention and provide cooling as well as thermal insulation.

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