The world is experiencing unprecedented urbanization. The UN Habitat estimates that more than half of the world’s population is living in cities. The global urban population is projected to rise to between 75% to 90% by 2050. Cities are not only centres of wealth, but they are complex dynamic system in permanent movement, innovation and change.
However, cities, especially those in the developing world are grappling with many challenges including, environmental degradation, waste management, unemployment and increasing exposure to natural and human made disasters that are being exacerbated by climate change.
Climate change is an important concern for cities globally and in Uganda. Cities are a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission that cause global warming and climate change. They are also highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events e.g. extreme heat/temperatures and rainfall, rise in sea level, flooding, landslides, droughts, among others that adversely affect and/or disrupt the functioning of urban ecosystems, infrastructures, utilities, services and economies. Transport and mobility, housing, energy, water and sanitation, businesses, tourism, public health are all adversely affected when the impacts of climate change hit. The urban poor and other vulnerable groups, living in slums and informal settlements, with least resilience are most affected.
Uganda cannot achieve resilient and sustainable urban development if the climate challenge is not addressed. Urban development decisions and investments that do not consider resilience to the impacts of climate change and foster low carbon intensive technologies to mitigate climate change will not be sustainable or viable in the long term.
At CIG Uganda Programme, climate change is a crosscutting issue, and mainstreaming climate change resilient and low carbon development options in all our interventions is a priority intended to make all our activities climate sensitive. We strive to ensure that our projects and interventions are not exposed to climate risks, do not increase climate risks and vulnerabilities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Rather our interventions should increase climate change resilience and enhance the achievement of safe, resilient, green and sustainable cities.
Mainstreaming climate change in urban planning and development interventions will foster climate sensitive spatial planning, development decisions and investments that increase the adaptive capacity of urban authorities, communities and economies. This will in the longer term translate into increase urban resilience. CIG also promotes green and sustainable cities that embrace the green economy e.g. green energy, green transport, sustainable waste management, green buildings, and ecosystem protection etc., while at the same time promoting job creation, productivity and reducing poverty.