Data speak louder than words: Findings from an initial stocktake of climate change adaptation and urban resilience efforts

Climate change mitigation Urban planning Evaluation

In 2015, nations reached a historic global agreement on climate change and made first commitments through the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which outline their climate action ambition, addressing both climate change mitigation (or low emission development) and adaptation to climate change. However, despite commendable efforts, a sizeable gap still remains between what has been pledged and what is still needed to keep global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. At the same time, several regions are already experiencing the effects of climate change manifested in the form of increased and unpredictable climate shocks and stresses, such as floods, wild fires, droughts, and tropical storms. Cities and regions worldwide are at the frontline of climate change impacts, with local communities increasingly undertaking targeted measures to adapt to current changes and enhance their resilience to future impacts.

Local and regional governments are identified as key stakeholders in the Paris Agreement, and are squarely at the heart of other major global frameworks of 2015 and 2016, including the Sendai Framework, the New Urban Agenda, and the 2030 Agenda. Therefore, there is need to integrate local and regional with national efforts to achieve our common goals for a livable, safe, resilient, and sustainable future. In a rapidly urbanizing world, nations could shape and implement more ambitious policies and plans, basing these on a clear understanding of local needs, then to be implemented at the local level – where progress may already be underway.

This document provides a snapshot of the climate change adaptation targets, actions, and action plans of local and regional governments publicly reported on one of the most widely used subnational climate action reporting systems in the world, the carbonn® Climate Registry (cCR), managed by ICLEI. A qualitative and quantitative analysis of the data available was conducted and supplemented by relevant information during in-person consultation at key events, such as the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS); a C40 regional policy dialogue in Accra; the ICLEI 2018 World Congress; and the Resilient Cities 2018 forum.

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