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Funding is a key barrier to cities' climate plan progress: report

By District Energy posted 05-17-2021 13:49


Smartcities Dive


CDP provides a platform for cities to disclose, measure and manage their environmental data to build resilience and sustainable economies. It reportedly has the most comprehensive global collection of self-reported environmental data from cities, corporations and investors. 

Some of the climate-related hazards that cities say put citizens at risk are extreme heat, increasing extreme storms, flooding, drought and air pollution. Sixty percent of cities are facing risks to their water security. In fact, water supply and sanitation is the city services category most reported to be affected by climate change, followed by public health, environment/forestry, residential and transportation. 

Neglecting to properly address these areas with a climate adaptation plan comes with a financial cost as well. The U.S. sustained 22 distinct billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in 2020 that collectively racked up $95 billion in damage to homes, businesses and infrastructure, the American Jobs Plan notes. 

Those costs are vexing to cities, particularly as they regularly cite funding shortfalls even without climate adaptation projects. The Biden administration's $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan, however, could provide a major boost not only for cities' infrastructure, but also for their sustainability and resilience plans. The plan includes $174 billion for electric vehicle infrastructure, $100 billion for power grid improvements, $46 billion in clean energy manufacturing and $35 billion for research into technology that addresses climate change. 

"They can't do it alone. It will come down to engagement and support... and it's going to need to be a coordinated effort," Walsh said.

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