Climate Change Threatens Poor Cities and Towns
Climate change poses complex and multilayered development challenges to cities and towns, particularly in least developed countries (LDCs).
Drought, floods, storms, rising sea levels are said to hit the hardest on these cities and towns, with potentially grave infrastructural impacts.
The reason for the increased vulnerability of these locales is, said environmentalists concerned with development, because strong and capable local and national governments with adequate and strong support from international networks are often lacking.
With climate change, hotter temperatures in high-density areas push up energy demands, like, for example, an increased use of air conditioners. ‘Heat stress’ is also a more common phenomenon, especially in urban heat islands.
Prolonged and heavy rainfalls cause flooding and in many cities, a higher risk of landslides, particularly in informal settlements built along steep inclines or floodplains.
Moreover, said the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), drought leads to water shortages, disrupted hydroelectricity generation and higher food prices as agricultural production takes a knock.