On March 17, Dr. Steffen Bauer, Head of the Klimalog project at the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), moderated the international panel „Foresight 2050 for climate smart cities“ at the Indo-German Forum of the German House of Science and Innovation (DWIH) New Delhi, which emphasised the close connection between global trends in urbanisation and climate change.
While around a half of the world’s population lives in cities today, it will be up to two-thirds by 2050. Already, 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector come from cities. As the urban population grows, so does urban energy demand. At the same time, the impacts of climate change specifically on cities are already evident today, including extreme heat waves, flooding and water scarcity. Urban populations worldwide will increasingly feel this in the coming decades.
Thinking climate change and sustainable urban development together
Against this backdrop, the international panel „Foresight 2050 for climate smart cities“ discussed the questions of what a city would need to look like in 2050 in order to be both climate friendly and climate resilient, and what steps are needed to achieve this in the decade to 2030. The following experts discussed this with Bauer:
- Anton Cartwright, Senior Economist at the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town in South Africa;
- Karthik Ganesan, Fellow at the Council on Energy, Environment and Water in New Delhi, India;
- Mark Ogge, Principal Adviser on climate and energy at the Australia Institute in Canberra;
- Katre Kets, Policy Officer at the EU Commission’s Directorate General for Climate Action in Brussels.
In the discussion, it became clear that while the basic challenges facing cities around the world are similar, at the same time there are major regional and local differences to consider. In all contexts, however, it is true that climate-friendly urban development brings numerous benefits that improve the overall quality of life in cities.
The German-Indian Forum of the German House of Science and Innovation (DWIH)
The Indo-German Forum of the German House of Science and Innovation (DWIH) in New Delhi annually brings together German and Indian scientists, decision-makers and professionals from various disciplines. In March 2021, it addressed the multi-faceted topic of urbanisation and climate change from different perspectives.