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Climatic Change Special Issue on Understanding climate change impacts and vulnerability at city scale

S. Hallegatte and J. Corfee-Morlot, Climatic Change 104(1), 2011

jeudi 3 février 2011, par Stéphane Hallegatte

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This Special Issue reports on the results from a recent OECD project that explores local benefits of climate change policies in cities and the linkages between national and local climate policy responses. One of the aims of this project is to include in these local assessments the potential incidence and economic cost associated with changes in extreme events in cities.

Link to the introduction of the Special Issue

Table of Content and all articles

This volume was conceived to begin to fill the gap in the literature on urban economic impact assessment, including the analysis of economic consequences and the role of extreme events as well as the need for finer grained evaluation of local and regional economic impacts of climate change. To do so, it focuses on coastal cities, which have been identified as “hot spots” for climate change.

This volume starts with a review of existing literature on climate change impacts and adaptation at urban scale by Hunt and Watkiss (2011).

It also includes a concept paper, by Hallegatte et al. (2011a), which proposes a methodological roadmap to assess climate change impacts and policy benefits at city scale. Some of the components of this roadmap are already found in city analyses (e.g., change in energy consumption) ; others are more difficult and are rarely if ever addressed (e.g., non-market impacts, or cross-sector knock-on effects).

Hallegatte S., F. Henriet, J. Corfee-Morlot, 2011, The Economics of Climate Change Impacts and Policy Benefits at City Scale : A Conceptual Framework, Climatic Change, 104(1), 51-87 Link to journal article

Then, a global analysis has been carried out by Hanson et al. (2011). Their results demonstrate the importance of investigating flood risks in coastal cities. They found that 40 million inhabitants of coastal cities with more than one million inhabitants in 2005 are exposed to 100-year floods. Taking into account future socio-economic development (population growth, increased urbanization, and economic growth), natural and artificial subsidence, and climate change (assuming a
50-cm sea level rise and a 10% increase in storm intensity), the exposed population is expected to increase three-fold by the 2070s, reaching 150 million inhabitants.

Hanson, S., R. Nicholls, N. Ranger, S. Hallegatte, J. Corfee-Morlot, C. Herweijer, J. Chateau, 2011, A Global Ranking of Port Cities with High Exposure to Climate Extremes, Climatic Change, 104(1), 89-111 Link to journal article

Two case studies on Copenhagen (Denmark) and Mumbai (India) consider vulnerability, impacts of climate change and adaptation options at the local scale. Herevulnerability is shown to depend on many factors that vary widely, such as extreme event frequency and intensity, local elevation and topography, building types and norms, economic structure and wealth level, and cultural aspects of the population. As a consequence, estimating the vulnerability of any one city is a significant and time-consuming task, based on a large amount of local data and information. Yet carrying out case studies provides detailed insights about the complex and dynamic processes that lead to climate change impacts ; such studies also help to verify that global scale analysis is reasonably robust in representing local specificities.

Hallegatte S., N. Ranger, O. Mestre, P. Dumas, J. Corfee-Morlot, C. Herweijer, R. Muir Wood, 2011, Assessing Climate Change Impacts, Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Risk in Port Cities : A Case Study on Copenhagen, Climatic Change, 104(1), 113-137 Link to journal article

Ranger N., S. Hallegatte, S. Bhattacharya, M. Bachu, S. Priya, K. Dhore, F. Rafique, P. Mathur, N. Naville, F. Henriet, C. Herweijer, S. Pohit, J. Corfee-Morlot, 2011. A Preliminary Assessment of the Potential Impact of Climate Change on Flood Risk in Mumbai, Climatic Change, 104(1), 139-167 Link to journal article

The final paper in this volume, by Corfee-Morlot et al. (2011), addresses governance issues, situating climate change adaptation as a problem of multilevel governance and calling for strengthening analytic-deliberative practice to facilitate decision-making at urban scales.

Corfee-Morlot J., I. Cochran, P.-J. Teasdale, and S. Hallegatte, 2011. Multilevel Governance and Deliberative Practice to Support Local Climate Action, Climatic Change, 104(1), 169-197 Link to journal article