For decades, climate change has been a gravely serious topic — its lack of action by nations in a desperate attempt to stave off disaster have been a problem for decades. Despite the efforts and promises of governments, climate change has been shown to have a far more tangible effect on our world than ever before. This is especially true when regarding cities that have hosted climate summits such as those in Copenhagen, Marrakech, and Paris. As the sea levels continue to rise, the predicted devastation to global cities will be extensive and devastating.
This will be especially seen in coastal cities such as those that have hosted these climate summits. For coastal cities, such as Copenhagen, even a slight rise in sea levels will result in devastating changes. Already, reports show parts of Copenhagen’s waterfront disappearing beneath the sea due to submerging, and as sea levels continue to rise, more and more of the city’s coastline will disappear each year. This is a dangerous trend as it threatens public infrastructure that many rely on.
Not to mention the vast environmental impacts that will occur due to an increased sea level. Floods, extreme weather events, and water shortages would become severely more common in coastal cities that have hosted climate summits. If left unchecked, storm runoff and shoreline degradation will reach unprecedented levels, leading to a total collapse of the ocean’s ecosystems.
For cities like Paris, rising sea levels will lead to massive displacement of citizens from low-lying areas of the city. Sea levels are expected to rise more than a meter over the next few decades, and this will lead to many people losing their homes as inadequate defences are not effective against flooding. The concept of “managed retreat” will need to be taken into effect in order to evacuate these citizens and ensure they still have access to resources.
It is clear that the effects of climate change have become increasingly evident. A stark reminder of this is the devastation sea level rise will have on the cities that have hosted climate summits. Flooding, displacement, and infrastructure destruction threatens the people of these cities, as the effects become more and more tangible. Unless drastic measures are taken, coastal cities that once hosted climate summits could be under water in the near future.