Climate Change Adaptation in Megacities. Rit Aggarwala

The world’s megacities are on the forefront of efforts to deal with climate change for a variety of reasons, says guest speaker Rit Aggarwala: Most are located in coastal zones where the impacts of climate change are strongly felt by their residents. And the mayors of those cities, he says, have jurisdictional authority to address those impacts.

Rit Aggarwala serves as Special Advisor to the Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, composed of the world’s largest cities committed to sharing strategies to mitigate and respond to global warming. Its 69 members represent 8% of the world’s population, 5% of its greenhouse gas emissions and 20% of its GDP. When you subtract the sectors of agriculture and deforestation, the remaining GHG contributing sectors are municipal in nature, Rit says, and subject to the actions of municipal government.

Founded in 2005 by London Mayor Ken Livingston, C40 is a self-governing membership-led organization which helps mayors get their climate change agendas accomplished faster by connecting peers, “mayor-to-mayor, commissioner-to-commissioner, and program manager-to-program manager.”

Rit cites various examples of practical responses of member cities from installing drinking water fountains in London’s subway system to reduce heat stroke and make the trains run on time, to installation of window screens in cities like New York and Nairobi where invasion of new species of disease-bearing mosquitoes is expected. The talk concludes with an extended question answer session with the audience.

August 29, 2014