Some of Asia’s largest financial and manufacturing centres will be most at risk to the onset of climate change according to a new report.
The cities of Dhaka, Manila, Bangkok, Yangon, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City and Kolkata are all singled out as most at risk from changing temperatures and weather systems that are forecast to take hold in the coming years, according to Maplecroft’s 5th annual Climate Change and Environmental Risk Atlas.
The Atlas ranks cities using the risk consultancy’s Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI), which identifies risks to populations, company operations, supply chains and investments. It evaluates exposure to climate related natural hazards; the sensitivity of populations; development; natural resources; agricultural dependency; research and development; government effectiveness and education levels.
With strong economic growth of above 5% forecast for countries such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and India in the next few years, the relevance of climate change to populations and business in the major commercial centres should not be underplayed, states Maplecroft syas the report. Extreme risk cities may see an increase in frequency and severity of key hydrological and meteorological events.
“As global corporations expand into the emerging growth markets, their operations and supply chains will become exposed to a complex set of climate risks that have the potential to disrupt business continuity,” says Helen Hodge , Maplecroft’s head of maps and indices. “It is essential for companies to identify where suppliers, assets and personnel are most at risk and plan for the long term.”
The vulnerability of cities in the growth economies stems not only from their exposure to climate related hazards, but also the sensitivity of their populations and the poor capacity of governments to support local adaptation measures to combat the potential effects of climate change. Disaster risk reduction programmes, more stringent building regulations, better education and improved communications networks are needed to secure the future stability of these cities.
New York, which took the full brunt of Superstorm Sandy, is ranked 41 of the 50 cities considered in the CCVI. Despite the city’s exposure to natural hazards, it is only categorised as ‘medium risk’ due to the US’s ability to adapt to a major climatic event.
According to the report, the appearance of so many ‘high risk’ Chinese cities is of particular concern to companies using the country as a manufacturing base. Water stress is already a risk in China, due to the needs of industry and the agricultural sector, alongside swelling urban populations. Should climate change place further pressure on the country’s water resources by increasing the risk of drought, water intensive industries could find their ability to operate restricted.
Cities at ‘extreme risk’
- Dhaka, Bangladesh
- Manila, Philippines
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Yangon, Myanmar
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
- Kolkata, India
‘High risk’ cities include
- Mumbai and Delhi, India
- Lagos, Nigeria
- Johannesburg, South Africa
- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan and Shanghai in China
‘Low risk’ cities:
- Chicago, US
- London, UK
- St Petersburg, Russia
- Paris, Framce
- Madrid, Spain
More information on the Maplecroft's 5th annual Climate Change and Environmental Risk Atlas.
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