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Adaptation responses to climate change differ between global megacities

Georgeson, L; Maslin, M; Poessinouw, M; Howard, S; (2016) Adaptation responses to climate change differ between global megacities. [Letter]. Nature Climate Change , 6 (6) pp. 584-588. 10.1038/nclimate2944. Green open access

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Abstract

Urban areas are increasingly at risk from climate change, with negative impacts predicted for human health, the economy and ecosystems1, 2. These risks require responses from cities to improve their resilience. Policymakers need to understand current adaptation spend to plan comprehensively and effectively. Through the measurement of spend in the newly defined ‘adaptation economy’, we analyse current climate change adaptation efforts in ten megacities. In all cases, the adaptation economy remains a small part of the overall economy, representing a maximum of 0.33% of a city’s gross domestic product (here referred to as GDPc). Differences in total spend are significant between cities in developed, emerging and developing countries, ranging from £15 million to £1,600 million. Comparing key subsectors, we demonstrate the differences in adaptation profiles. Developing cities have higher proportional spend on health and agriculture, whereas developed cities have higher spend on energy and water. Spend per capita and percentage of GDPc comparisons more clearly show disparities between cities. Developing country cities spend half the proportion of GDPc and significantly less per capita, suggesting that adaptation spend is driven by wealth rather than the number of vulnerable people. This indicates that current adaptation activities are insufficient in major population centres in developing and emerging economies.

Type: Article
Title: Adaptation responses to climate change differ between global megacities
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2944
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2944
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. The published article (Georgeson, L; Maslin, M; Poessinouw, M; Howard, S; (2016) Adaptation responses to climate change differ between global megacities. [Letter]. Nature Climate Change, 6 pp. 584-588. 10.1038/nclimate2944) is available from the journal's website at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2944
Keywords: Climate-change adaptation; climate-change impacts; climate-change policy
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1489802
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