Climatic hazards are increasingly becoming common features of society globally amidst heightened demographic and social change, as well as spatial development. These have resulted in tensions in human-dominated landscapes such as cities because climate change policy regimes often failed to relevantly integrate climate change actions into local governance, putting several populations at risk of disease, hunger, migration and poverty to mention a few. The United Nations estimates that the world’s population that will live in urban landscapes will hit 2.4 billion people in cities alone by the year 2040.
Recent milestones of the environment attest to the urgent need to address climate change, population and development related nuances, for which the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the Sendai Disaster Risk Reduction Framework, and the Paris Climate Agreement have brought momentum to the discussions. As the conference theme suggests “Transforming Cities’ Resilience to Climate Change”, pressures on cities as the transformative place for the world’s future is strongly emerging. The strong cross-border effects of the socio-ecological complexity of the urban landscape which has generated opportunities for increased wealth creation and smart solutions in cities is a major factor.
Cities contribute close to 70% of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and also, centers of most global changes such as population growth. Yet, cities continuously incur huge climate change related annual losses and damages that include major energy and transport infrastructure, and critical ecosystem services. Flood losses in 136 largest coastal cities, was estimated to account for US$6 billion per year of average global flood losses in 2005, reaching US$52 billion by 2050. In addition, over 20% in excess loss totaling US$63 billion attributed to climate change has been projected over the same period, Most of these major hotspots of loss and damage are in the coastal urban areas of the developing world and having highest populations at risk of coastal flooding. Thus climate change could aggravate such risks, resulting in reduced quantum, quality and distribution of key resources of cities with increased poverty and internal displacement.
Conceptualised and organised by the Regional Institute for Population Studies (RIPS) with the support of the Climate Change Resource Centre-Ghana (CCRC-GH), University of Ghana Legon, Accra.
RIPS has emerged as one of the leading centres of excellence in climate change research in Africa through its multi-disciplinary Population, Environment and Development programme based on evidence that populations are at heightened risks of climate change and making CCPOP-Ghana critical platform for lesson sharing.
We look forward to welcoming you.
Benjamin Delali Dovie, PhD
Convener and Chair of Local Organising Committee