Climate Change: A Challenge for Cities in Developing Countries , United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Geneva, Switzerland The Impacts of Climate Change on Cities in Developing Countries Humanity stands at a turning point in history. The year 2007 will see, for the first time, the majority of human beings living in cities. And by 2030, three-quarters of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. This urban transformation, which represents a major challenge for attaining the Millennium Development Goals, is inseparable from the issue of climate change. The latter part of the 20th century has seen the increase in the Earth’s average temperature of 0.6˚ C. Projections of further increase in the 21st Century vary considerably, between a minimum of 1.4 C and a maximum of 5.8˚ C, depending on the level of stabilization of carbon emissions, the pace of de-carbonizatio­n of the global economy, and the patterns of demographic and economic development. Such increases represent a dramatic shift with regard to the natural variability of the planet’s mean temperature, which has remained within 0.5˚ C over the last 1,000 years. The latest report of the Intergovernment­al Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (“Fourth Assessment Report) establishes a direct correlation between the sustained use of fossil fuels – which has occurred primarily in
Speech: Climate Change
The planet is changing, and it’s changing our life in the process.
In the last two decades, the warming of the planet has become increasingly more evident, as summers get longer and winters get warmer. Droughts, rising sea levels because of the melting ice caps, and increasingly more destructive storms are just the beginning. Although we don’t one hundred percent know what the future has in store for us, we can predict the outcome of this climate change - and it’s looking rather grim.
The warming rate of our planet is largely influenced by human activity.
Ever since the Industrial Revolution our carbon emissions have been intensifying the greenhouse effect. Factories, vehicles, houses, power plants are all contributing to it; as we relentlessly burn fossil fuels, which, although cheap, have costly consequences in store for us. While it is true that carbon dioxide is basically food for plants, we don’t have nearly enough plants on this planet to clean up after our mess.
Rapid urbanization and the destruction of forests to plant crops is slowly but surely stripping the world of green, eliminating one of our defenses against the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
In addition to carbon dioxide, methane also has a considerable impact on the greenhouse effect, in fact an even bigger one.
The main culprit of methane emissions is the meat industry and metabolic byproducts from cattle, which release insurmountable amounts of methane into the atmosphere. The leaking of natural gas into the atmosphere is also an alarming contr.....[read full text]