UNITED NATIONS HUMAN SETTLEMENTS PROGRAMME
The effects of urbanization and climate change are converging in dangerous ways that seriously threaten the world’s environmental, economic and social stability. Cities and Climate Change: Global Report on Human Settlements 2011 seeks to improve knowledge, among governments and all those interested in urban development and in climate change, on the contribution of cities to climate change, the impacts of climate change on cities, and how cities are mitigating and adapting to climate change. More importantly, the Report identifies promising mitigation and adaptation measures that are supportive of more sustainable and resilient urban development paths.
The Report argues that local action is indispensable for the realization of national climate change commitments greed through international negotiations. Yet most of the mechanisms within the international climate change framework are addressed primarily to national governments and do not indicate a clear process by which local governments, akeholders and actors may participate. Despite these challenges, the current multilevel climate change framework oes offer opportunities for local action at the city level. The crux of the challenge is that actors at all levels need to ove within short time frames to guarantee long-term and wide-ranging global interests, which can seem remote and unpredictable at best.
An important finding of the Report is that the proportion of human-induced (or anthropogenic) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from cities could be between 40 and 70 per cent, using production-based figures (i.e. figures calculated by adding up GHG emissions from entities located within cities). This is in comparison with as high as 60 to 70 per cent if a consumption-based method is used (i.e. figures calculated by adding up GHG emissions resulting from the production of all goods consumed by urban residents, irrespective of the geographic location of the production). The main sources of GHG emissions from urban areas are related to the consumption of fossil fuels. They include energy supply for electricity generation (mainly from coal, gas and oil); transportation; energy use in commercial and residential buildings for lighting, cooking, space heating, and cooling; industrial production; and waste.
However, the Report concludes that it is impossible to make accurate statements about the scale of urban emissions, as there is no globally accepted method for determining their magnitude. In addition, the vast majority of the world’s urban centres have not attempted to conduct GHG emission inventories. The Report argues that, with increasing urbanization, understanding the impacts of climate change on the urban environment will become even more important. Evidence is mounting that climate change presents unique challenges for urban areas and their growing populations.
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En écho à l’émission de ce mercredi 19 janvier (disponible à la réécoute et au podcast), vous trouverez dans ce billet des images et des analyses extraites des travaux de Marc Dumont, invité de Planète Terre cette semaine. Comme l’explique cette étude de l’INSEE, la croissance des “couronnes périurbaines” est continue depuis les années 1960 en France, bien qu’elle ait eu lieu à des rythmes différents selon les décennies et selon les régions considérées. Cette évolution soulève de nombreuses interrogations, comme l’illustrent ce court reportage télévisé sur l’espace périurbain d’Ile-de-France (datant de 1999), ainsi que la vidéo militante ci-dessous. Comment la géographie appréhende-t-elle ce phénomène hybride, qui brouille les catégories de “rural” et d”urbain” ?
L’article comporte une série de références et de commentaires.
Lire la suite ou podcaster l’émission sur Globe. Le blog de la planète terre, le blog de l’émission de France Culture