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How much will climate change cost?

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The impact of climate change on local, national and global organisations and economies is growing. A paper published in CIWEM’s Water and Environment Journal this week says local authorities should be proactive in climate change adaptation and mitigation to avoid ever-increasing costs.

In a paper published in the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management’s (CWIEM) Water and Environment Journal earlier this week, M. Ncube et al. examined the impact of rainfall variability on municipalities’ water and energy demand in South African local governments.

The research revealed a non-linear relationship between water and energy demand and rainfall variability.

“Influencing the operations and budgets of local governments, climate change is a real threat to local governments. The local governments need to be proactively involved in the efforts to adapt to and mitigate climate change. This is particularly important in developing countries where the impact of climate change is more severe than in developed countries, yet adaptation and mitigation capabilities in these countries are weak.”

“The Individual municipalities need to understand and establish their climate change impact assessments that take into account their specific conditions and circumstances. This will give rise to the crafting and implementation of effective, efficient and well-targeted policy measures and programmes.”

CIWEM believes that this message should be echoed worldwide. National, regional and local governments across the world will feel the full force of climate change.  They need to ensure that the communities for which they are responsible are as prepared as they possibly can be to manage future shocks.  CIWEM urges legislators at all levels and tiers of government – in all countries – to take a resilience-based approach when planning adaptation and mitigation strategies.

The full article can be found in the March 2013 issue of CIWEM’s Water and Environment Journal.  Published four times a year, CIWEM’s Water and Environment Journal is the leading publication in its field, dealing with worldwide aspects of the water cycle and environmental matters including the management of solid and hazardous wastes, control of air pollution, and environmental conservation.