Climate change, equity and the Sustainable Development Goals: an urban perspective

D. Reckien, F. Creutzig, B. Fernandez, Shuaib Lwasa, M. Tovar-Restrepo, D. McEvoy, D. Satterthwaite

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133 Citations (Scopus)
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Climate change is acknowledged as the largest threat to our societies in the coming decades, potentially affecting large and diverse groups of urban residents in this century of urbanization. As urban areas house highly diverse people with differing vulnerabilities, intensifying climate change is likely to shift the focus of discussions from a general urban perspective to who in cities will be affected by climate change, and how. This brings the urban equity question to the forefront. Here we assess how climate change events may amplify urban inequity. We find that heatwaves, but also flooding, landslides, and even mitigation and adaptation measures, affect specific population groups more than others. As underlying sensitivity factors we consistently identify socioeconomic status and gender. We synthesize the findings with regard to equity types – meaning outcome-based, process-oriented and context-related equity – and suggest solutions for avoiding increased equity and justice concerns as a result of climate change impacts, adaptation and mitigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159–182
Number of pages24
JournalEnvironment and urbanization
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • METIS-322138


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