The resilience of more than 60 cities, starting with Dubai, expected to be boosted by new initiative.

C40's first Climate Adaptation Academy was launched today in the city of Rotterdam. City officials and urban planners from more than 60 cities around the world will be invited to learn how to prepare their cities for the inevitable consequences of climate change. The academy will provide cities with training programmes and technical support in climate change adaptation and building resilience.

Unless preventative action is taken, climate change-related natural disasters have been estimated to put 1.3 billion people at risk by 2050 and destroy assets worth $158 trillion. As cities are home to more than 60% of the world population and the majority of global infrastructure and assets, they are uniquely vulnerable to these risks.

Parts of Rotterdam are more than 6 metres below sea level, exposing the city to serious risks from rising sea levels and other climate related threats. By necessity Rotterdam has become a true global leader in climate change adaptation. Thanks to its role in the C40 network, Rotterdam has been able to share this expertise and leadership with other cities around the world.

The C40 Climate Adaptation Academy was launched this week with its first delegation, from the city of Dubai, to participate in the inaugural adaptation Master Class.

“The effects of climate change are already underway and cities are on the frontline. Rotterdam has recognized those risks and then worked tirelessly to spread their knowledge to other cities facing the same threats. We certainly drew on their expertise when creating Paris’ award-winning Adaptation Strategy,” said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris and Chair of C40. “The C40 Climate Adaptation Academy is set to become an essential cornerstone in the global efforts to create sustainable, resilient cities, and Rotterdam is the ideal home.”

“Every city on earth is vulnerable to some degree to the impacts of climate change, whether from floods, droughts or heat waves,” said Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam.This will have an enormous impact on public health, quality of life and the economic progress in our cities. To protect our citizens, city leaders need to implement immediate measures, and the C40 Adaptation Academy will ensure the best ideas are spread around the world as quickly as possible.”

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