On 15 December, Mayor Aboutaleb of Rotterdam and Jakarta’s Governor Fauzi Bowo signed a declaration of intent to establish closer collaboration between the two cities in fighting the consequences of climate change. This took place during the Climate Summit for Mayors in Copenhagen. Cities are indispensable when it comes to tackling the climate change issue. For this reason, the mayors and aldermen of large cities (united in C40) gathered in Copenhagen from 15 until 17 December to forge agreements and share practical experience. They called upon their national governments to reach agreements that will be instrumental in the execution of their tasks. One of the main topics of discussion concerned adaptation to the consequences of climate change.
At present, more than 50% of the entire world population lives in cities, with a clear majority living in delta cities. Delta cities and their ports are among the areas that are most vulnerable to the impact of climate change, as their economic value is high and natural disasters would entail a significant risk of casualties. This fact prompted Rotterdam to set up a network of delta cities within the C40 framework: Connecting Delta Cities (CDC). Connecting Delta Cities is an initiative of the city of Rotterdam to facilitate the collaboration of large delta cities around the world in preparing for the consequences of climate change. ‘Every city will encounter its own unique problems, but that doesn’t mean that it is necessary for them to reinvent the wheel again and again,’ according to Mayor Aboutaleb. For the time being, the focus is on a core group consisting of Tokyo, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, New York, New Orleans, London and Jakarta. As mentioned earlier, the collaboration with the latter was formally ratified on 15 December.
Connecting Delta Cities
One of the primary objectives of the CDC network is to exchange knowledge in the area of comprehensive urban water management and climate adaptation, and to share ‘best practices’. CDC will contribute to the urban component of the international government policy in the area of water management and climate-related issues. The export and application of Dutch water expertise may benefit significantly from this initiative.
To share scientific knowledge and policies around the theme of climate adaptation on an international level, Rotterdam will organize the climate conference for delta cities between 29 September and 2 October 2010, entitled: ‘Deltas in Times of Climate Change’. The umbrella theme for the conference will be ‘climate policy and investments in times of climate change’.