Climate action for equitable cities

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Published: June 2024
Product code:22436IIED

More than one billion people live in slums that have substantial deficits in governance, housing and basic services. About 750 million people earn less than US$2 per day. This implies that large numbers of people in cities lack the means to adapt to a changing climate. At the same time, two-thirds of all cities are in locations that are highly exposed to climate impacts. 

There is an urgent need to integrate adaptation and mitigation initiatives in order to avoid harmful trade-offs. Installing mitigation infrastructure that considers climate impacts can reduce the risks facing urban communities. Equally, actions to enhance resilience that are low-carbon can ensure urban mitigation gains, avoiding carbon-intensive trajectories. Mitigation and resilience investments must be focused on redressing social and economic inequalities for equitable results and in order to enhance the adaptive capacity of low-income communities in particular. 

We have launched a new programme focused on co-producing action research focused on mitigating greenhouse gases, building resilience and responding to longstanding development deficits. We are undertaking this in three ways: strengthening the evidence of the impacts of climate change on low-income and informal settlements; influencing decision makers and donors to resource equitable climate action in low-income urban communities; and documenting and supporting climate action that tackles urban poverty, inequality and injustice.

Cite this publication

Walnycki, A., Schoonman, N., Landesman, T. and Bahadur, A. (2024). Climate action for equitable cities. IIED, London.
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