Though international action is needed to mitigate global heating, local action is also important to prepare citizens
The municipality of Groningen has announced that it will prepare the city for all of the upcoming negative effects of climate change. Due to the ever-increasing pace of global heating, the city will have to prepare for events such as extreme weather. The cities’ plans are described in a document called ‘Climate-proof Groningen 2020 – 2024’. As reported by the Groninger Internet Courant.
“The changing climate has consequences within our municipality. We will all notice the effects such as the hot, dry summers and the increasing rainfall, ” says Alderman Glimina Chakor (GroenLinks).
“This may cause major problems in the future. We must now prepare as best as possible for this: we can’t sit still. With our implementation plan we are putting the theme more emphatically on the local and national agenda.”
The municipality of Groningen wants to be climate-proof by 2050: with measures to reduce the risks of flooding, and efforts to help prevent heat stress. The spatial living environment will be improved, and vulnerable groups will be given additional protections.
The first step for Groningen is to look at which groups and situations require short-term attention. The emphasis will be placed on vulnerable groups such as the elderly and young children. In addition, it is being looked into how damage caused by, for example, drought or heavy rain showers can be prevented and how an attractive public space can be preserved.
“We desperately need the commitment of our residents, entrepreneurs and social partners if we want to be climate-proof by 2050. They also have a responsibility in adapting to the changing climate. This means working together in the greening of their own living or working environment, but also the search for coolness on hot days”, says Chakor.
Recently, the UN Commission on Climate Change has said that “it is likely that by the end of this century global mean temperature will continue to rise… average sea level rise is predicted to be 24-30cm by 2065, and 40-63cm by 2100. Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries, even if emissions are stopped.”