Eight in 10 of world’s cites report significant climate hazards

3rd July 2024

Climate hazards such as flooding, droughts and extreme heat are threatening eight in 10 of the world’s cities, new research from CDP has uncovered.

Of the 1,131 cities that reported data to CDP last year, 83% were facing significant climate hazards – up from 80% in 2022 – with 56% already being seriously impacted.

Flooding was the most widely reported hazard affecting cities, followed by extreme heat, droughts, heavy rain and the risk of wildfires, on 58%, 54%, 38%, 35% and 22%, respectively.

The findings also show that around two-thirds of the cities that reported data expect these perils to become more intense and frequent in the future.

“From the worst floods in nations’ histories to deadly heatwaves and wildfires, the effects of the climate breakdown are as devastating for cities and their people – especially in the Global South – as they are enormous in scale,” said Maia Kutner, CDP director for cities, states and regions.

“As the world enters new and dangerous climate territory, shattering temperature records month after month, there is a golden thread that brings clarity, enables management of the problem and unlocks climate finance and action – data.”

Of the cities that reported climate hazards, 83% in North America said flooding was a hazard – which was the largest percentage in any region, followed by Europe on 80%, 69% in Africa and the Middle East, 66% in Asia Pacific, and 56% in Latin America.

Similarly, 85% in North America said extreme heat was a hazard, with 83% in Europe also doing so, 54% in Asia Pacific, 51% in Africa and the Middle East, and 50% in Latin America.

CDP’s analysis also examined the stark impact on people, with 98% of cities facing flooding reporting that low-income households were impacted, while 77% said the elderly were, and 67% said marginalised communities were.

Of the cities reporting extreme heat as a hazard, 97% said the elderly were affected, 75% said low-income households were, and 73% said children were.

“Only data can give cities the insights they need to manage, mitigate and adapt to the impacts of our rapidly changing planet,” Kutner continued.

“It is the unique key that leads directly to meaningful and effective action to deliver a greener, safer and more sustainable future.

“We encourage cities around the globe to report their environmental data to CDP-ICLEI Track and tackle the greatest challenge of our age with renewed clarity of direction.”

Image credit: Shutterstock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

UK off track for net zero by 2030, CCC warns

Only a third of the emission reductions required for the UK to achieve net zero by 2030 are covered by credible plans, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has warned today.

18th July 2024

Read more

Almost three-fifths of UK environmental professionals feel there is a green skills gap across the country’s workforce, or that there will be, a new survey has uncovered.

4th July 2024

Read more

Ahead of the UK general election next month, IEMA has analysed the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, and Green Party manifestos in relation to the sustainability agenda.

19th June 2024

Read more

Nine in 10 UK adults do not fully trust brands to accurately portray their climate commitments or follow the science all the time, a new survey has uncovered.

19th June 2024

Read more

Just one in 20 workers aged 27 and under have the skills needed to help drive the net-zero transition, compared with one in eight of the workforce as a whole, new LinkedIn data suggests.

18th June 2024

Read more

With a Taskforce on Inequality and Social-related Financial Disclosures in the pipeline, Beth Knight talks to Chris Seekings about increased recognition of social sustainability

6th June 2024

Read more

Disinformation about the impossibility of averting the climate crisis is part of an alarming turn in denialist tactics, writes David Burrows

6th June 2024

Read more

David Symons, FIEMA, director of sustainability at WSP, and IEMA’s Lesley Wilson, tell Chris Seekings why a growing number of organisations are turning to nature-based solutions to meet their climate goals

6th June 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close