Bangladesh is set to suffer more from climate change by 2025 than any other country, warns a new report by risk analysts Maplecroft.
According to the report, rising sea levels, severe storms and other extreme climate-related events will also threaten the future of Dhaka, the Bangladesh capital. Mumbai, Manila, Kolkata and Bangkok will have the same experience.
The sixth annual release of Maplecroft’s Climate Change and Environmental Risk Atlas said:
Thirty-one percent of global economic output will be based in countries facing ‘high’ or ‘extreme risks’ from the impacts of climate change by the year 2025 – a 50% increase on current levels and more than double since the company began researching the issue in 2008.
According to the Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI), which forms a central part of the Atlas, this includes 67 countries whose estimated combined output of $44 trillion will come under increasing threat from the physical impacts of more frequent and extreme climate-related events, such as severe storms, flooding or drought.
The economic impacts of climate change will be most keenly felt by Bangladesh (1st and most at risk), Guinea-Bissau (2nd), Sierra Leone (3rd), Haiti (4th), South Sudan (5th), Nigeria (6th), DR Congo (7th), Cambodia (8th), Philippines (9th) and Ethiopia (10th), which make up the 10 most at risk countries out of the 193 rated by the CCVI.
However, other important growth markets at risk include: India (20th), Pakistan (24th) and Viet Nam (26th) in the ‘extreme risk’ category, in addition to Indonesia (38th), Thailand (45th), Kenya (56th) and, most significantly, China (61st), all classified at ‘high risk.’
“With global brands investing heavily in vulnerable growth markets to take advantage of the spending power of rising middle class populations, we are seeing increasing business exposure to extreme climate related events on multiple levels, including their operations, supply chains and consumer base,” said James Allan, Head of Environment at Maplecroft and one of the authors of the report.
“Cyclone Phailin demonstrates the critical need for business to monitor the changing frequency and intensity of climate related events, especially where infrastructure and logistics are weak.”
Of particular concern to the business community are the growing risks faced by the world’s leading emerging economies, China and India.
By 2025, China ‘s GDP is estimated to treble from current levels to $28 trillion, while India ‘s is forecast to rise to $5 trillion – totaling nearly 23% of global economic output between them.
Maplecroft says China ‘s manufacturing heartland, encompassing the cities of Guangzhou , Dongguan and Foshan are among the most exposed to physical risks from extreme climate-related events.
It said: “India ‘s economic exposure to the impacts of extreme climate related events was recently highlighted by Cyclone Phailin.The storm caused an estimated US$4.15 billion of damage to the agriculture and power sectors alone in the state of Odisha, which is also India ‘s most important mining region. Up to 1 million tons of rice were destroyed, while key infrastructure, including roads, ports, railway and telecommunications were severely damaged, causing major disruption to company operations and the supply chains of industrial users of minerals.”
According to the report, West Africa and the Sahel face the most increased levels of risk, with Nigeria now rated as the sixth most climate vulnerable economy on the planet. Nigeria ‘s oil sector is left particularly exposed to the impacts of climate related events. Flooding between July-November 2012 resulted in an estimated loss of 500,000 barrels-per-day in oil production, equivalent to over one-fifth of Nigeria ‘s output. The oil-rich Niger delta is especially vulnerable, with rising sea levels already resulting in erosion and the loss of some oil wells in this area.
Maplecroft’s CCVI has been developed to identify climate-related risks to populations, business and governments over the next 30 years, down to a level of 22km² worldwide.
It does so by evaluating three factors: exposure to extreme climate-related events, including sea level rise and future changes in temperature, precipitation and specific humidity; the sensitivity of populations, in terms of health, education, agricultural dependence and available infrastructure; and the adaptive capacity of countries to combat the impacts of climate change, which encompasses, R&D, economic factors, resource security and the effectiveness of government. –countercurrents.org