Why better climate outcomes require stronger national-to-local chain of decisions

Jennifer Layke, director of the Building Efficiency Initiative at World Resources Institute, explains a few of the barriers and solutions to transformative city planning.

Every city has priority issues critical for its communities. In some, it could be energy issues like brownouts; in others, the desire to rely less on biofuels.

The problem with city planning, though, is that it’s often done in silos, Jennifer Layke, director of the Building Efficiency Initiative at World Resources Institute, told Devex.

“We’re looking for a transformative outcome, and yet we’re going to allocate X amount of dollars to replace a roof in five years, we’re going to allocate X amount of dollars to improve the water quality in this one neighborhood,” Layke said. “That doesn’t get you to to an integrative plan.”

The focus on supporting national governments is for good reason, as they decide the overarching framework for their communities. But there must also be an emphasis on cities — which often don’t have creditworthiness and depend on national government for funding — to help get those investments right.

How do we make sure that national-to-local chain of decision supports the best climate outcome? Layke explains a few solutions she’s seeing in this video interview.

Planet Worth is a global conversation in partnership with Abt Associates, Chemonics, HELVETAS, Tetra Tech, the U.N. Development Program and Zurich, exploring leading solutions in the fight against climate change, while highlighting the champions of climate adaptation amid emerging global challenges. Visit the campaign site and join the conversation using #PlanetWorth.

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About the author

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    Kelli Rogers

    Kelli Rogers is a global development reporter for Devex. Based in Bangkok, she covers disaster and crisis response, innovation, women’s rights, and development trends throughout Asia. Prior to her current post, she covered leadership, careers, and the USAID implementer community from Washington, D.C. Previously, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.

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