Focused Adaptation: A strategic approach to climate adaptation in cities
Cities are facing growing risks as a result of climate change. Many are in high-risk locations such as coastlines, floodplains or islands, and most face a threat from climate hazards beyond the scope of past experience. Cities’ built environment can also exacerbate impacts. Some increase in climate risk is already locked-in due to existing emissions, and risks will be significantly worse if action to mitigate climate change falls short of the goal to limit warming to 1.5°C. To protect the lives and livelihoods of urban residents, cities must adapt and improve their resilience to current and future climate impacts.
Cities should invest in actions that increase resilience systemically, as a foundation to adapting to specific and immediate hazards. Systemic resilience includes increasing awareness of physical climate risks, incorporating risk into city processes, optimizing emergency response, and enhancing financial and insurance programs.