Leaders, negotiators and scientists returned home from the recent United Nations climate change negotiations in Paris with a new mandate: to explore pathways to a world that warms no more than 1.5°C; to finance climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries at a meaningful pace and scale; and, ultimately, to create real policy tools that can deliver prosperity that is not so fundamentally tied to burning fossil carbon.

This policy brief examines the power of exploring synergies between responding to climate change and other development priorities in cities: in other words, can decision makers devise response strategies that are both adaptive and mitigative, while simultaneously creating healthy, vibrant, innovative communities? Using examples from communities around the world that take a holistic approach to sustainability rather than addressing climate change in isolation, this brief uncovers the roots of climate change co-benefits, and possible governance strategies for achieving them.

  • Sarah Burch is a CIGI senior fellow with expertise on financing sustainable development, particularly on the exploration of innovative solutions to address challenges associated with climate change and sustainability.