The megacities most endangered by climate change are doing the least about it

Lucien Georgeson and Mark Maslin write: Cities across the world are increasingly at risk from climate change. People living in extreme poverty are especially vulnerable, both because global warming will tend to hit developing countries the hardest, and because they have less money to throw at the problem.

We used newly-available data to investigate how cities are responding to climate change and whether resources are being allocated efficiently or fairly. We expected there to be differences in spending between rich and poor. But we did not expect them to be so vast, with New York for instance spending more than £190 (US$260) per person to protect its people and infrastructure from the impact of climate change, while Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa spends less than £5 ($7).

It seems the amount spent on climate adaptation is driven more by the amount of wealth at risk rather than the number of vulnerable people. [Continue reading…]

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