Today, 54% of the world's population lives in urban regions and is expected to increment 66% by 2050. Additionally, climate change will add pressures and uncertainties that will present challenges to the society, economy, and environment, requiring cooperation across the public and private sectors. In this situation, focusing on urban living impacts can affect basic urban services, such as water or energy supply, making the city capacity to function for most of the world's population continuously.
Cities are at the forefront of the climate challenge and the heart of the global economy (80% of the ' 'world's GDP, 78% of energy, and 80% of the greenhouse gases), so they are critical to implementing an integrated approach to meeting the sustainable development goals and building climate resilience. Moreover, adapting to climate change is imperative for cities.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has put cities at the cutting edge of the emergency. It has underlined how governments and municipalities specifically need to plan to cope with all types of hazards, including epidemic risks, and address gaps in their preparedness and develop a capacity to respond. Cities are taking steps towards becoming more resilient and protecting their residents, their assets, and remaining functional during crises, particularly in terms of delivering water and energy services. However, many cities lack expertise, long-term vision, the ability to prioritize, and the right framework conditions to tackle the complex issues required for improving their resilience. Addressing such issues requires more significant amounts of financing and a broader set of technical and institutional expertise.
How can we implement policies to build climate change resilience in the local circumstances of Arab cities? How can we foster research, technology transfer, knowledge management, funding, capacity building, and reforming legislative and institutional framework, among others, as priority areas for intervention? Those are some of the questions that the online conference is going to address.
The aim of this virtual event is threefold:
- Discuss the development of the adjustment of public policies, strategies, and budgets to ensure the optimal resilience of their respective urban water-energy-climate nexus system and the quality of life for all citizens.
- Exchange relevant knowledge, best practices, information, and lessons learned and advance regional initiatives on resilient cities, particularly in ensuring sustainable water and energy supply.
- Discuss the challenges facing the region and what can be done to transform these challenges into different business and economic opportunities.
In this context, the EU-GCC Clean Energy Technology Network and the Environmental Center for Arab Towns (ECAT) are organising the online conference Innovative Cities in the context of Climate Change: Risk Management in Water and Energy Supply. The online conference will be held virtually on Monday 5 April 2021 at 10.00 CET / 12.00 GST with a duration of three hours.
More information is available at the event's webpage.