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

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