What Regions Face the Most Climate Risk?
What regions are most at risk from the climate crisis?
A new report from the Cross Dependency Initiative (XDI) looked at how increasing extreme weather events and other climate impacts might threaten important infrastructure in more than 2,600 states and provinces around the world by 2050. It found that the U.S. — along with China and India — was one of the countries with the most seriously at-risk regions.
“We get an extremely strong signal from countries like China, from the U.S. and India, and we see essentially the engine rooms of the global economy where there is a lot of built infrastructure,” XDI head of science and innovation Karl Mallon said at a press briefing reported by AFP.
The analysis, which XDI called the “Gross Domestic Climate Risk,” was based on a “pessimistic” climate scenario from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that predicted what would happen if temperatures reached three degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. Overall, it found that Asia, and China in particular, would be the most impacted. One-hundred and fourteen of the top 200 most at-risk regions were in Asia, according to XDI. What’s more, more than half of the top 50 most at-risk regions were in China, with the provinces of Jiangsu, Shandong, Hebei, Guangdong and Henan taking the lead, the Independent reported. Hebei includes Beijing, and the cities of Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Taiwan and Mumbai were also in the 100 most at-risk areas. For China, the most-at-risk regions were primarily threatened by sea level rise and flooding, according to SDI.
“In terms of overall scale of damage risk, and in terms of risk escalation, Asia has the most to lose as climate change extreme weather increases, and the most to gain from preventing worsening climate change and accelerating climate-resilient investment,” XDI CEO Rohan Hamden said, as the Independent reported.
After China, the U.S. was the country with the most threatened states overall, AFP reported. Florida was the most threatened and ranked No. 10 overall, with California ranked 19th, Texas 20th and New York 46th, according to XDI. Sea level rise was also a major threat to many U.S. states.
India had nine threatened regions in the top 50, according to Reuters. Together India, China and the U.S. accounted for 80 percent of the top 50 list, XDI said.
The rankings also reflect the placement of important infrastructure. Jiangsu, for example, is both the most at-risk region and responsible for a tenth of China’s Gross Domestic Product, as Reuters reported.
“Infrastructure investment has tended to be concentrated in areas that have traditionally been very high-risk — river deltas, coastal zones, and relatively flat areas,” Hamden said, as Reuters reported.
The purpose of the report is to help business and political leaders make sound decisions in the context of the climate crisis.
“Folks who are looking to build a factory, establish a supply chain that involves those states and provinces are going to think twice about where they are,” Mallon said, as AFP reported.