The 20/20 Hindsights session brought groups together to brainstorm and articulate new solutions in relation to six specific UCCR challenges. Participants were able to pick two themes to participate in.
By the time Saleemul Huq had reached university he had lived in more cities than most people manage in a lifetime. Born in Karachi Pakistan, his father was a diplomat moving frequently, and Saleemul moved with him. At the age of one he moved to Bonn Germany, he went to school in Jakarta, Indonesia; attended high school in Nairobi, Kenya; and then went to university in London. Later he would settle in Dhaka, Bangladesh where he still lives for much of the year.
Cheers echoed around the halls of the La Bourget conference centre in Paris as the gavel came down to signal that an agreement had been reached. The news rippled out amongst tired delegates, many of whom had only managed a few hours sleep over the last days of the negotiations. The sound of applause - unfamiliar at most UN climate talks - provided a backdrop to whooping and the tired tears. In the coming days there will be much written about the imperfections of the deal, of which there are many. However the significance of the achievement in Paris should not be underestimated.
The fast-paced growth of climate-vulnerable cities around the world, and especially in Asia, has huge implications for the lives of large numbers of people. This realisation is beginning to lead to an increase in climate finance flows to urban areas in low and middle income countries. But how much public money is out there? Which countries are benefiting? And how can these funds have the biggest impact?
The city of Udon Thani in Thailand’s north-eastern province of the same name, played host to climate change practitioners and stakeholder groups from the cities of Hat Yai and Chang Rai. The three-day exchange, facilitated by the Thailand Environment Institute (TEI), was organized to help share knowledge about the climate challenges that were being faced by the cities and learning about how to increase resilience.