Conference Outputs

Recognizing the Importance of Cities

Recognizing the importance of cities in both mitigating and adapting to climate change, the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) included a chapter on urban adaptation to climate change (Ch. 8 of WG II – Revi et al., 2014) and a new chapter on the role for spatial planning and urban areas in mitigating climate change (Ch. 12 of WG III – Seto et al., 2014). In spite of special efforts to build an integrated assessment framework, via an indicative set of consultations between Working Groups II and III in a special meeting (Kolkata, India 2013) – the discussion of adaptation and mitigation for cities was not integrated in AR5. Thus, there are many important unanswered questions in AR5, and it is crucial to mobilize the scientific community to build on these earlier initiatives and address these gaps during the AR6 cycle.

This conference aims to take stock of post-AR5 scientific work on cities and climate change (at the level of research, policy and practice); and to define a set of key research themes and questions that can be addressed in advance of the Special Report on Cities and Climate change for the IPCC’s Seventh Assessment Report (AR7).

The main expected outputs of the Conference are:

  1. A global research agenda on cities and climate change that advances climate change science and gives recognition and visibility to the knowledge generated by urban stakeholders;
  2. Enhanced understanding of the impacts of climate change at the urban level, the range of possible responses and the role of cities in the implementation of the Paris Agreement; and
  3. Better informed climate decision-making at the local level, as a result of improved relations between the policy, practice and the scientific communities working on/in urban areas, through new projects, platforms and partnerships.

Research Agenda Timeline Update

The main goal of the CitiesIPCC campaign and the IPCC Co-Sponsored Cities and Climate Change Science conference was to engage the scientific community in the next frontier of research focused on the science of cities and climate change. One of the primary mechanisms to inspire this research is the Research and Action Agenda on climate change and cities which is being produced as one of the primary outputs of the conference. This research agenda will be presented to the IPCC as part of the official Meeting Report on the CitiesIPCC conference during the 48th Plenary of the IPCC, which will take place October 1-5 2018 in Incheon, South Korea.

This is not meant to be a fully comprehensive research and action agenda but it is the starting point of the journey which began at the CitiesIPCC Conference in Edmonton, March 5th- 7th 2018 to engage the city practice and policy communities, and working with researchers, refining priorities based on their national and local needs. During the conference, members of the CitiesIPCC team attended every session, and compiled information from posters and conference commissioned papers. Session conveners and poster presenters also provided feedbacks on research gaps and recommendations from discussions which were inspired by their presentations. All of this information is currently being analysed by the conference Scientific Steering Committee and compilation team for the development of the research agenda.

Directly after the conference, the SSC held a two day workshop to begin analysing and reviewing information which came out of the conference.There they developed the outline for the research and action agenda. Writing teams have been established for each section of the research agenda, and the SSC are in the process of collating the details from the conference to develop a first draft of the agenda. The final research and action agenda will be a short, engaging five page document including a call to research and action on eight key areas where strong need for further research emerged from discussions at the conference, as well as approaches for the urban research, policy, and practice communities to support the research agenda.

The SSC will come together in June to begin to work on transitioning the detailed draft into the final research agenda. The research and action agenda, along with a detailed supplemental material section will be submitted at the end of July 2018 as an official document for consideration at the next IPCC Plenary. During the plenary, member governments will be asked to acknowledge the full Meeting Report as part of the official reporting to the Plenary.