Urban areas are major contributors to climate change, accounting for 71 to 76 per cent of CO2 emissions from global final energy use, and represent high concentrations of financial, infrastructure and human assets and activities that are vulnerable to climate change impacts. In the coming decades, hundreds of millions of people in urban areas are likely to be affected by rising sea levels, increased precipitation, inland floods, more frequent and stronger cyclones and storms, and periods of more extreme heat and cold.
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UN-Habitat works with international climate bodies and global city networks to influence climate policy and action, promoting the role of cities and human settlements in mitigation and adaptation. At the national level, UN-Habitat brings together all levels of climate action (national, regional, local) towards achieving common climate related goals. Multi-level governance from city to country level helps bring different actors to agree on plans, policies, strategies and implementation to address climate change challenges, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build climate resilience. UN-Habitat also works with networks of urban and regional planning professionals to help develop climate-proof planning practices, and communities to address the multiple effects of climate change in strategies and actions for low income and informal settlements.