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The natural resource needed to implement adaptation and mitigation strategies

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Oliver Heidrich, Professor Richard DawsonORCiD


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There is an urgent need by Local Authorities to mitigate and adapt to the challenges of climate change. Various consultations, strategies, implementation techniques and processes are being instigated by International Agreements, Directives, Acts, Regulations and Local Authorities. In the UK more than 300 Local Authorities have signed the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change and agree to provide and implement strategies to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions (mitigation) and to adapt to climate change. Internationally the C40 cities have signed an agreement to adopt and mitigate against climate change. Strategies are being implemented by for example constructing flood defences, improving efficiencies, providing low carbon fuel, renewable electricity and zero carbon homes. The purpose of the paper is twofold; to summarise the adaptation and mitigation strategies currently promoted by Local Authorities and to highlight the natural resource (e.g. neodymium, cadmium, silver, aggregates) requirements to service such strategies. We analysed the resource requirements to services the different adaptation and mitigation strategies and we argue that there can be a natural limit to climate change mitigation and adaptation. The paper provides a summary of the infrastructures, systems and techniques that implement the adaptation and mitigation strategies currently advocated by Local Authorities. We model the resource requirements to service such strategies and provide evidence that there can be a shortage of natural resources. We conclude that Local Authorities seem to advocate adaptation and mitigation strategies in isolation without considering the sourcing and consumption requirements of natural resources at national or international scale. Our findings show that there can be a natural limit of implementing adaptation and mitigation strategies. We discuss our findings in light of national and international agreements in order to provide some much needed calculation and estimation of the natural resources that may become scares or are associated with high transportation requirements.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Heidrich O, Dawson R

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Planet under Pressure: New Knowledge Towards Solutions

Year of Conference: 2012


Series Title: State of the world's cities: An overview of interactions between cities and global environmental change