Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The reality behind Europe's response to climate change

Date:
November 25, 2013
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
British cities – unlike their counterparts on the mainland - are taking the lead in making plans to curb and handle the impact of climate change. A new study analyzed the relevant strategic policies and planning documents of 200 urban areas in eleven European countries. They found that one in every three European cities has no plans on the table to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while seven in every ten urban areas have no formal adaptation plans in place.

British cities -- unlike their counterparts on the mainland -- are taking the lead in making plans to curb and handle the impact of climate change. So says Diana Reckien, of Columbia University in the US, in a study published in Springer's journal Climatic Change that analysed the relevant strategic policies and planning documents of 200 urban areas in eleven European countries. They found that one in every three European cities has no plans on the table to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while seven in every ten urban areas have no formal adaptation plans in place.

How cities respond to climate change is important as they are responsible for 31 to 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Cities are particularly vulnerable to climate hazards due to their high density of people, their assets and infrastructure. On the other hand, such urban areas are unencumbered by the complicated international negotiations that hamper climate change action at the international level.

Reckien's team, funded by the European Science Foundation COST Action TU0902, studied the response to climate change issues of 200 large and medium-sized cities in eleven European countries. Their analysis is the first to look objectively at strategic policy and planning documents rather than relying on self-reported measures such as questionnaires and interviews of city representatives. They scrutinized adaptation plans which incorporate urban planning and development actions that lead to the abatement or reduction of vulnerability to climate change, and mitigation plans that include actions such as improved energy efficiency and renewable energy generation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Overall, 130 cities (65 percent) have at least a mitigation plan, and less than a third (28 percent) also an adaptation plan. More than one in every three cities (35 percent) has no plan whatsoever in place. Only one in every four cities (25 percent) had both, and also set quantitative targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Most (88 percent) mitigation plans quantify targets for carbon dioxide or greenhouse gas emission reduction.

Countries vary in their planning: 93 percent of UK cities studied have a mitigation plan whereas only 43 percent of French and 42 percent of Belgian cities do. The highest proportion of cities with an adaptation plan are in the UK (80 percent of 30 cities), Finland (50 percent of 4 cities) and Germany (33 percent of 40 cities). Dutch cities are the most ambitious aiming to be 'carbon-', 'climate-' or 'energy-neutral' (100 percent reduction target) by 2050 or earlier.

If the planned actions within cities are nationally representative, the European Union would achieve its 20 percent reduction target, but fall short of the 80 percent emission reduction recommended to the avoid global mean temperature rising by more than 2°C.

"To better understand the global climate change response and emissions reduction actions, we recommend the establishment of an international database of mitigation and adaptation options that builds upon this European study," writes Reckien.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. Reckien, J. Flacke, R. J. Dawson, O. Heidrich, M. Olazabal, A. Foley, J. J.-P. Hamann, H. Orru, M. Salvia, S. Gregorio Hurtado, D. Geneletti, F. Pietrapertosa. Climate change response in Europe: what’s the reality? Analysis of adaptation and mitigation plans from 200 urban areas in 11 countries. Climatic Change, 2013; DOI: 10.1007/s10584-013-0989-8

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "The reality behind Europe's response to climate change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125101108.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2013, November 25). The reality behind Europe's response to climate change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125101108.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "The reality behind Europe's response to climate change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125101108.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

San Diego Zoo's White Rhinos Provide Hope for the Critically Endangered Species

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — The pair of rare white northern rhinos bring hope for their species as only six remain in the world. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Trick-or-Treating Banned Because of Polar Bears

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Mother Nature is pulling a trick on the kids of Arviat, Canada. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) tells us, the effects of global warming caused the town to ban trick-or-treating this Halloween. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

How Detroit's Money Woes Led To U.N.-Condemned Water Cutoffs

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) — The United Nations says water is a human right, but should it be free? Detroit has cut off water to residents who can't pay, and the U.N. isn't happy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins