Countries at climate risk to hold more GDP

Oct 30, 2013
Indians walk along flooded railroad tracks during rain showers in Mumbai on July 23, 2013

Nearly a third of the world's economic output, some $44 trillion (32 trillion euros), will by 2025 be in countries at the highest risk of climate change effects, said research published Wednesday.

This would represent a 50 percent increase over today in the share of global GDP () in high or extreme risk countries, said the assessment by British risk consultancy Maplecroft.

Most of these countries are ill prepared to deal with more severe floods, storms, droughts and sea-level rise likely to result from a warming planet, and the report said much investment is required in flood and other defences to protect infrastructure and assets.

"Adaptive measures... will, however, require the sustained commitment of governments," said a statement from Maplecroft.

The 67 countries at highest risk include economic giants India in 20th place and China at number 61.

Topping the list was Bangladesh, followed by Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Haiti, South Sudan, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cambodia, Philippines, Ethiopia, the Central African Republic, Eritrea and Chad.

The United States and much of Europe are in the "low" risk category—partly because they had more money to spend on adaptation measures.

"Many of the global growth markets are located in countries that are acutely vulnerable to climate change," said the report that measured risk of exposure in 193 countries along with their capacity to adapt.

"The increased spending power of middle-class populations in growth economies is resulting in significant international investment in highly vulnerable regions."

The analysis found that five cities facing a "extreme" climate risk: Dhaka in Bangladesh, Mumbai and Kolkota in India, Manila in the Philippines and Bangkok in Thailand, expected to see their GDP triple from $275 billion to $804 billion by 2025.

"The growing economic importance of cities in developing countries may increase exposure of assets, investments and supply chains to the impacts of climate change," said the report.

"Cities with some of the biggest economic growth potential are among those with the greatest vulnerability to climate change."

London and Paris are the only cities classified as "low" risk in an analysis of 50 cities.

The UN has set a target of limiting to 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 deg Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels in order to avoid its worst effects.

This goal is mainly being targeted by projects to reduce emissions of Earth-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) created through fossil-fuel burning for energy production and transport.

The Maplecroft report said it appeared "increasingly unlikely", as greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow, that the two-degree target could be met—with potentially devastating effects like species extinctions, water shortages, crop die-offs, loss of land to the rising seas and disease spread.

Currently, there are more than 4.5 billion people, about 64 percent of the global population, living in countries at high or extreme risk, and the figure was expected to exceed five billion by 2025.

The analysis showed south and east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa to be at highest risk.

While Canada and the United States are low risk , a breakdown showed several areas in the US as highly vulnerable—including the coastal regions of Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, South and North Carolina which are exposed to cyclones and storm surge.

Explore further: Investment to limit climate change is lagging

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Climate: which nations, cities most at risk?

Oct 26, 2011

A third of humanity, mostly in Africa and South Asia, face the biggest risks from climate change but rich nations in northern Europe will be least exposed, according to a report released Wednesday.

Investment to limit climate change is lagging

Oct 22, 2013

Spending on measures to limit global warming declined last year, and was deeply inadequate to avoid its worst effects, said a climate finance analysis released in Copenhagen Tuesday.

World Bank warns global warming woes closing in

Jun 19, 2013

The World Bank on Wednesday warned that severe hardships from global warming could be felt within a generation, with a new study detailing devastating impacts in Africa and Asia.

US ends most financing of overseas coal projects

Oct 29, 2013

The United States said Tuesday it would end most financing of coal projects overseas, taking a potentially significant step to curbing carbon emissions blamed for climate change.

Recommended for you

EU sets new energy savings target at 30%

17 hours ago

After months of tough negotiations, the European Commission recommended Wednesday a new energy savings target of 30 percent so as to combat climate change and ensure self-sufficiency.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

mememine69
1 / 5 (11) Oct 30, 2013
Deny this: Science has NEVER said or agreed it WILL be a crisis so YOU climate blamers can't say it either. You as a believer can only say it "could be" a crisis.

Only the remaining climate change believers and news editors and politicians are the one's saying a crisis WILL happen, not science because science has agreed on nothing beyond "could be" a crisis and have never in 30 years ever said or agreed their own crisis was "inevitable" or "eventual".

You can only say "could be" just as science has for three decades.

Get to date progressives:

*Occupywallstreet does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by trustworthy politicians.*

*Canada killed Y2Kyoto with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (a comet hit).*

Deny that!
goracle
2.6 / 5 (10) Oct 30, 2013
Copy/paste, copy/paste.... Let's hope that some day you may try open-minded critical evaluation instead.