What Companies Can Learn From Cities: Rosenzweig on Climate

© Ann Goodman 2012

How might urban climate change affect business?  What can business—and cities—do about it?  And how might each help the other prepare for a potential threat to what’s clearly a mutually beneficial relationship?

Who better to answer the questions than Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist at NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Columbia University Earth Institute, and Adjunct Professor at New York City’s Barnard College.

The world-renowned urban climate change expert is the Co-Editor of the recently released book, Climate Change and Cities: First Assessment Report (ARC3) of the Urban Climate Change Research Network (UCCRN) published in 2011 (Cambridge University Press).  The UCCRN was hatched at the C40 Large Cities Summit in New York City in 2007, with more than 300 members in cities around the world.

Urban Climate

Depending on scientific estimates, cities account for 40-80 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.  The urban population is forecast to nearly double to 6.4 billion, or 70% of the world’s population, by mid-century, according to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division.  That would lift emission levels, along with urban temperatures.  ARC3 projects that temperatures in 12 cities it studied (including New York, London, Shanghai and Sao Paulo), could rise between one and four degrees Celsius by 2050.”

Those radical changes challenge cities to re-evaluate how to protect people, prioritize investments, deploy assets, and rethink growth and development.

Read more, first posted on January 30, 2012, on Ann Goodman’s blog on GreenBiz

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