Goldman Sachs tells us nine lessons that the world can learn about climate change

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  • The earth’s climate has started changing drastically, primarily because of human activity.
  • Goldman Sachs, an American financial services major, listed down nine case studies which teach the world how it could be done.

The earth’s climate has started changing drastically, primarily because of human activity. The latest example is the Amazon forest fire that ate up 222% of its plantation in August alone, and the damage is still going on.

And it is upto humans to right the wrongs.

Goldman Sachs, an American financial services major, listed down nine case studies which teach the world how it could be done.

Lesson 1: Climate-proofing the future



Cities and urban areas account for 55% of the world’s population. A possible approach can be creating green spaces and infrastructure — just like Copenhagen adapted in their municipality planning. Such green spaces help minimise floods and damage.

Lesson 2: Forest and wetlands around the city


Beijing, which was once among the world’s most polluted cities, is all set to drop out of the list of top 100 polluted cities also. All this because of sustainable urban planning.

In 2017, China introduced a major development plan that included a park system. The idea was to bring “forest around the city, wetland into the city”, according to Goldman Sach’s case study.

Lesson 3: Making room for rivers


Rapid urbanisation is eating up natural rivers surrounding cities. In 2007, the Netherlands came up with a plan to make “Room for the river.” The project worth $2.6 billion included changing agricultural land into floodplains.

Lesson 4: Better drains and minimum solid waste



Manila faced erratic flood and heavy rainfall for years which lead to the evacuation of thousands of people. The Philippines government took a step to strengthen its flood management system by modernising drainage and minimizing solid waste.

The government wanted to benefit as many as 1.7 million people across 56 flood-prone areas.


Lesson 5: Investing in modern grid technology



Extreme weather and severe storm can lead to power outages. Between 2003 and 2012, the US Department of Energy estimate 680 power outages because of weather, affecting 50,000 customers.

The US government then infused $4.5 billion in modern grid technology as a measure to generate energy.

Lesson 6: Building floodwalls and armored levee



The New York City suffered a $70 billion damage because of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 that led the government to develop more and more projects that defended the city.

Lesson 7: Municipal bonds to fund green infra

Municipal bonds are loans from investors to the government. Many municipalities in the US issued bonds to develop major infrastructure. Amongst them is Miami’s Miami Forever Bond programme that aims to create climate-related infrastructure worth $200 million. Another example is the $25 million “environmental impact bond” issued by Washington in 2016 to finance green infrastructure.

Lesson 8: Elevated roads that can connect cities

Existing transportation are affected the most because of storms and floods, creating the need for new toll roads. Goldman Sach suggests creating roads with higher elevation that can connect two cities and covers several hundred miles of land.

Lesson 9: Cities that can survive rising sea levels

Using the “landlord” model, a municipality can develop the port through public-private partnership and make the city more resilient to rising sea levels, said the report.

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