Klimawandel © GIZ

Adaptation: how cities are tackling climate change

11.11.2016 – Whether facing strong rains or heat waves, cities can use various strategies to protect themselves against climate change impacts.

The 22nd United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 22) has been underway in Marrakech since Monday. Climate change mitigation is also becoming more important at local level, with cities now the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Urban areas are also increasingly feeling the impact of climate change, for example through heat waves. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is therefore implementing numerous projects in order to help cities better adapt to climate change and also become more climate-friendly.

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ is supporting municipalities in adapting to climate change. In Mauritania the focus is on better protecting the coastal cities and regions – home to a third of the population – against more frequent heavy rainfall and rising sea levels. As existing dunes are being damaged by automobile traffic and also being used for construction projects in some places, GIZ is assisting locals in making sustainable improvements to the dams and dunes. In addition, experts are receiving training – city planners went on a study trip to northern Germany to learn how cities can protect against flooding caused by strong rainfall or tidal waves by using water outflow systems and constructing walls. In the community of Sebkha, the newly built rain collection system is helping protect 400 households, 10 small businesses, four schools and two health centres.

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), GIZ is also helping to establish a network among the cities of Chennai (India), Santiago de Chile (Chile) and Durban (South Africa). Together the three partners are formulating an urban development strategy, which provides a continuously updated compilation of best practices for low-carbon urban redevelopment of the three cities. These are presented in a way that will also enable other cities to apply them to meet their own needs. Examples include the expansion of bike paths to increase the use of low-carbon means of transport, and the use of renewable energy sources such as solar panels on the roofs of homes to generate green energy.