Updated: Apr 5, 2022
The IPCC just released the 2nd part of their 6th assessment report, focused on how the climate crisis is affecting human health and how we can adapt.
Spoiler alert... while there are still things we can do, it's definitely going to get harder.
Cities, as expected, are going to bear the significant brunt of the effects. We are seeing this in our current work with clients planning for climate adaptation measures. The costs involved to build, maintain and upgrade infrastructure to be resilient to climate change effects are immense. The implementation of these measures are complex. These projects will be where we need all the creativity we can muster. We will have to bring all our stakeholders along in that journey. And we will need leadership everywhere along the way.
One aspect of this report that should get more emphasis is how the biggest risks and opportunities are centered around Water.
This article (https://www.circleofblue.org/2022/world/ipcc-climate-report-six-key-findings-for-water/ ) talks about several findings related to Water but here are 3 that are particularly relatable to any city context.
1. Climate Impacts Are Accelerating - After the physical solutions, what mindset shift do we need to adapt to the intensifying rain events and longer dry periods that are becoming increasingly obvious?
2. We’re Making Them Worse - How can we reimagine the cityscape we have with nature based alternatives, or change our water footprint?
3. Food and Water Security Are in Jeopardy - Can we solve the embedded water security problem even as we tackle food security issues?
At the end of the day, climate adaptation is, for the most part, really just water adaptation. And this is not a net-zero type target for 2030 or 2050. This demands a solution today.