How Can Cities Adapt to Climate Change?

Adapting to a warmer world could drive one of the largest infrastructure build-outs in history, according to a new report from Goldman Sachs’ Global Markets Institute, titled Taking the heat: making cities resilient to climate change. The report acknowledges the importance of reducing carbon emissions but focuses on the need to adapt to ongoing changes in the climate. Cities, which are home to the majority of the world’s population and generate most of its GDP, will need to develop climate resilience across all types of infrastructure, including coastal protection, transportation, energy and communications. They will need to take an “all-of-the-above” approach to financing, according to Sandra Lawson, executive director of the Global Markets Institute, because “even the most prosperous cities are not going to be able to fund this alone.” Amanda Hindlian, chief operating officer of Global Investment Research and president of the Global Markets Institute, recommends that cities “start now” and allow for maximum flexibility, so that they can “benefit from input costs and economies of scale that that come from new technologies and that make these problems easier to address in economically feasible ways over time.”