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Publication Overview

Building a Climate-Resilient City: Economics and finance

This policy brief focuses on economic and financial measures to build cities' resilience to climate change.

It explores how economic and financial measures can contribute to building a resilient city—or a city in which institutions, communities, businesses and individuals have the capacity to function and “survive, adapt and grow” in response to anticipated and unanticipated shocks and stresses. 

Key Messages

  • Climate change impacts such as damage to infrastructure, productivity losses and adverse health effects have large financial implications for municipalities.
  • Investment in climate resilience reduces exposure to climate risks, lowers liability costs, and improves investor confidence and credit ratings.
  • Multiple-bottom-line accounting methods embed climate risk awareness and the benefit of cost-effective adaptation benefits.
  • Monetizing the value of ecosystem services valuation allows cities to identify and prioritize high-value natural and green infrastructure climate solutions.

The Building a Climate-Resilient City series was prepared for the City of Edmonton and the City of Calgary by the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the University of Winnipeg. This series looks makes recommendations for steps that cities can take as part of their municipal adaptation planning to build their resilience to climate change. It explores three key principles of resilience building: robustness (strong design), redundancy (building extra capacity into systems to act as fail-safe networks) and resourcefulness (citizen empowerment).

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