ARC3.2 successfully launched at Habitat III in Ecuador

by | October 19, 2016
Categories: In the Press, News

UCCRN launched its Second UCCRN Assessment Report on Climate Change and Cities (ARC3.2) at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador.

The 800-page report is a follow-up to the well-received ARC3.2 Summary for City Leaders, which was launched at the ICLEI Agora during the COP21 Climate Summit for Local Leaders in 2015, and to the First UCCRN Assessment Report, which was published in 2011. It is the most comprehensive study to date detailing the risks cities face due to climate change, and the second in an ongoing series of interdisciplinary, science-based assessments to examine climate adaptation and mitigation in cities.

The ARC3.2 report Launch at Habitat III was hosted by three Co-Editors of the ARC3.2 Report – Patricia Romero-Lankao from NCAR; Shagun Mehrotra from The New School; and Somayya Ali Ibrahim from Columbia University. Other Co-Editors of the report include Cynthia Rosenzweig of NASA GISS, William Solecki from Hunter-CUNY, and Shobhakar Dhakal from the Asian Institute of Technology.

ARC3.2 chapter authors described key findings of their studies and their experience working on the report, and UCCRN Hub Directors provided an overview of their activities. Several key partners of the UCCRN – – ICLEI, UN-Habitat, and the UN-Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) – also spoke about the connections with the UCCRN network and the ARC3 Report Series is of benefit to their work.

Yunus Arikan, from ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability stated, “The ARC3.2 launch coincides with the adoption of the New Urban Agenda and the decision for an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Conference on Cities in 2018. The ARC3.2 report provided key contributions in both processes. ICLEI is proud to support the ARC3.2 process, in particular by hosting the launch of the First UCCRN Assessment Report (ARC3.1) at its ICLEI Resilient Cities Congress in Bonn in 2011, co-hosting the release of the ARC3.2 Summary for City Leaders at COP21 in Paris in 2015, and now in joining the launch of the ARC3.2 Report at Habitat III in Quito.

“ICLEI commends all scientists, experts, and cities involved in the preparation of this Report and encourages them to advance their work, as the success of the decisions in the Paris Agreement and at Habitat III depend heavily on the ambitious and accelerated actions of local and subnational governments, which should continue to be guided by robust scientific information such as the ARC3 series of Reports.”

Marcus Mayr, from UN-Habitat, explained, “…not only is UN-Habitat a main supporter of the UCCRN ARC3.2, but the main students and the main readers of the report. It is a great resource that will benefit sustainability and climate issues for cities around the world”.

With governments around the world signing the unprecedented Paris Agreement and reaffirming their commitment to fighting climate change, UCCRN aims to build on this momentum and provide the knowledge base for cities to implement actions on climate change adaptation and mitigation.

“Sustainable Urbanization embodies the ‘fierce urgency of now’. Now is an opportune moment for transformative action on cities and climate change in the post-SDG, post-Paris, and post-Habitat III environment as a first step to operationalizing the New Urban Agenda”, stated Shagun Mehrotra, Co-Editor of the report.

The updated ARC3.2 Report, a three-year effort by more than 350 authors from all continents, provides an expanded coverage of cutting-edge scientific research on climate change and cities. It presents downscaled climate projections and catalogs urban disasters and risks, along with the effects on human health in cities. It gives concrete solutions for cities in regard to mitigation and adaptation; equity and environmental justice; economics, finance, and the private sector; critical urban and social sectors such as energy, water, housing and informal settlements, and solid waste management, and governing carbon and climate in cities.

The report presents five key pathways to urban transformation, including:

1) Actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while increasing resilience are a win-win.
2) Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation are the cornerstones of resilient cities.
3) Risk assessments and climate action plans co-generated with the full range of stakeholders and scientists are most effective.
4) Needs of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable citizens should be addressed in climate change planning and action.
5) Advancing city creditworthiness, developing robust city institutions, and participating in city networks enable climate action.

These pathways provide a foundational framework for the successful development and implementation of climatechange.

ARC3.2 aims to enable key collaboration by policyholders through its examination of over 115 updated and in-depth city Case Studies, covering cities from every continent. These valuable case studies display current empirical evidence on what cities are doing on the ground to mitigate and adapt to climate change, across a diverse set of urban challenges and opportunities. These city climate actions are also available online at the ARC3.2 Case Study Docking Station.

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