Urban informality in the Paris climate agreement: Content analysis of the nationally determined contributions of highly urbanized developing countries

Jose Rafael Núñez Collado, Han Hsiang Wang, Tsung Yi Tsai

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6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Climate change related events affect informal settlements, or slums, disproportionally more than other areas in a city or country. This article investigates the role of slums in the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) for the Paris Agreement of a selected group of 28 highly urbanized developing countries. Content analysis and descriptive statistics were used to analyze first the general content in these NDCs and second the proposed role, or lack thereof, of slums in these documents. The results show that for most of the analyzed countries, context-based climate policies for slums are not part of the strategies presented in the NDCs. We argue that a lack of policies involving informal settlements might limit the capacity of developing countries to contribute to the main goals of the Paris Agreement, as these settlements are significant portions of their urban populations. One of the hopeful prospects of the NDCs is that they will be reviewed in 2020 for the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26). With this paper, we aim to stimulate discussions about the crucial role that informal settlements should play in the NDCs of developing countries in the background of the synergies required between climate change actions and sustainable development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5228
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume11
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • COP26
  • Developing countries
  • Paris agreement
  • Slums
  • Sustainable development
  • Urban informality

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