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Aligning Urban Policy with Climate Action in the Global South: Are Brazilian Cities Considering Climate Emergency in Local Planning Practice?

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School of Public Health, University of São Paulo, Av. Dr. Arnaldo, 715 São Paulo, SP 01246-904, Brazil
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School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, Queensland University of Technology, 2 George Street, Brisbane QLD 4000, Australia
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Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, Monash University, 900 Dandenong Road, Caulfield East, VIC 3145, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Energies 2019, 12(18), 3418; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12183418
Received: 6 August 2019 / Revised: 30 August 2019 / Accepted: 3 September 2019 / Published: 5 September 2019
Climate change is the biggest global threat of our time. As a signatory nation of the Paris Agreement, Brazil has made a climate action commitment, and expressed its nationally determined contribution to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 37%. The Brazilian population is highly urban, and Brazilian cities are mostly responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, and the worst effects of global warming are experienced in cities. Hence, the fulfillment of the Brazilian climate commitments depends on the active engagement of municipalities. Nevertheless, the Brazilian national government does not monitor local climate actions, and it is not clear how local urban policy is aligned with climate action. In order to bridge this gap, this study tackles the question of: “Are, and if yes how, cities considering the climate emergency in their local planning mechanisms?” This question is investigated by placing five major Brazilian cities under the microscope. The methodological approach includes literature review and applied qualitative analysis to scrutinize how climate issues and actions are factored in urban planning regulations to verify if and to what extent local policies contribute to the fulfillment of the Brazilian nationally determined contribution, and sustainable development goals. The results disclose that investigated cities have adequately incorporated climatic issues in their urban planning mechanisms. However, policy concentrates more on adaptation rather than mitigation, and policy implementation yet to be realized. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; climate emergency; climate crisis; global warming; sustainable urban development; sustainable development goals; smart cities; disasters; urban health; urban policy climate change; climate emergency; climate crisis; global warming; sustainable urban development; sustainable development goals; smart cities; disasters; urban health; urban policy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sotto, D.; Philippi, A., Jr.; Yigitcanlar, T.; Kamruzzaman, M. Aligning Urban Policy with Climate Action in the Global South: Are Brazilian Cities Considering Climate Emergency in Local Planning Practice? Energies 2019, 12, 3418.

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