Press Release: Economic Ramifications Of Climate Change Move Cities To Protect Businesses, Finds CDP Report

10 July 2014: The majority of the world’s major cities have disclosed that climate change presents a physical risk to the businesses operating in their cities.  This real and current threat is driving local governments to take concrete action in response, so finds Protecting our Capital, a new report from CDP, formerly Carbon Disclosure Project, AECOM and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40).   

Cities generate more than 80% of global GDP, are home to more than half the global population and consume two thirds of the world’s energy.  They are also on the frontline of climate change.  Accordingly, 207 cities including Johannesburg, London, New York, São Paulo, Sydney and Tokyo, have disclosed their climate change strategies and actions through CDP.  This is nearly double the 110 cities that disclosed last year, demonstrating the increasing importance that city administrations place on their environmental accountability and performance monitoring. 

Three quarters of these cities disclose that extreme weather and other effects of climate change threaten the stability of their local economies, with damage to property and capital assets, transport and infrastructure destruction, and citizen wellbeing among the most commonly reported risks.  However, more than three quarters of cities see financial benefits from taking action on climate change.  Portland, for example, reports that its City Energy Challenge program achieves annual savings of US$5.5 million, resulting in cumulative savings of US$42 million since the program’s inception in 1991.  

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