Climate Change & Urbanization/Dangerous Combo

Global Warming

Climate Change & Urbanization/Dangerous Combo

Announcing the launch of the 2011 Global Report on Human Settlements, the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT Joan Clos told reporters that the developing world is “seeing an unprecedented flux of migration from the rural to the urban areas.”

Clos said that the developing world “has all the right to develop,” but this urbanization and development is also bringing about an “increase of consumption of energy and natural resources” and is a “huge challenge that we need to face.”

The report entitled “Cities and Climate Change” reviews the linkages between urbanization and climate change, two of the greatest challenges currently facing humanity in the 21st Century, and whose effects are converging in dangerous ways.

It illustrates the significant contribution of urban areas to climate change while at the same time highlighting the potentially devastating effects of climate change on urban populations.

Clos noted that “fifteen percent of the population in the developing world is living in zones prone to the risk due the increase of levels of the sea water.”

The report also reviews policy responses, strategies and practices that are emerging in urban areas to mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as their potential achievements and constraints.

Speaking about those constraints, Clos observed that a large portion of city dwellers in the developing world are living in slums, and these are characterized “by being places of unplanned urbanization” and located “in the most difficult or risky pieces of land.”

He said that “rain that hardly will cause any problem in a rich city, in a poor city can generate a huge catastrophe.”

The report argues that urban areas have a pivotal role in both climate change mitigation and adaptation and identifies strategies and approaches for strengthening this role.


Language: English

Year of Production: 2011

Length: 2:30 mins.

Country: United Nations


  • Muhamed Sacirbey UNTV


  • Susan Sacirbey