UN issues new guidance to address warming in cities

Business Friday 05/November/2021 13:36 PM
UN issues new guidance to address warming in cities

Glasgow: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) published detailed guidance to help the world's cities address warming, which is occurring at twice the global average rate in urban areas.

Beating the Heat: A Sustainable Cooling Handbook for Cities , prepared with RMI, states that by the end of this century, many cities could warm as much as 4 °C if GHG emissions continue at high levels. Even at 1.5°C of warming, 2.3 billion people could be vulnerable to severe heat waves.

Launched at the ongoing UN Climate Conference (COP26) by the Cool Coalition , UNEP , RMI , the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) , Mission Innovation and the Clean Cooling Collaborative , the new guide offers planners an encyclopaedia of proven options to help cool cities.

"Science tells us that to keep global temperatures from rising by more than 1.5°C, we need to achieve net-zero emissions by mid-century. Sustainable and equitable urban cooling must be a part of cities' efforts to reach net-zero energy targets," said Inger Andersen, UNEP Executive Director.

In outlining the problem, the Sustainable Cooling Handbook for Cities describes how cities are warming quickly due to the 'heat island effect', caused by a combination of diminished green cover, the thermal properties of the materials commonly used in urban surfaces, and waste heat from human activities.