Report: Climate change may pose threat to economic growth

Story highlights

Climate change may be "serious obstacle" to sustainable growth in key cities, says report

The climate change vulnerability index is published by risk analysis firm Maplecroft

Nearly a third of the world's economy will come from highly or extremely vulnerable places

Bangladesh was the most vulnerable country and its capital the most vulnerable city

Hong Kong CNN  — 

Nearly a third of the world’s economic output will come from countries facing “high” to “extreme” risks from the impacts of climate change within 12 years, according to a new report.

The Climate Change Vulnerability Index, an annual report produced by UK-based risk analysis firm Maplecroft, found that climate change “may pose a serious obstacle to sustainable economic growth in the world’s most commercially important cities.”

The index ranked the vulnerability of the world’s countries, and the 50 cities deemed most economically important, to the impacts of climate change, by evaluating their risk of exposure to extreme climate events, the sensitivity of their populations to that exposure and the adaptive capacity of governments to respond to the challenge.

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Five cities at 'extreme risk'

Five cities at ‘extreme risk’

  • 1. Dhaka
    2. Mumbai
    3. Manila
    4. Kolkata
    5. Bangkok
  • Source: Maplecroft

    It said the combined GDP of the 67 countries classed as facing “high” or “extreme” risks was projected to nearly triple from $15 trillion to $44 trillion by 2025 – meaning nearly a third of the global economy would be coming under increasing threat from extreme climate-related events. It projected the population of those countries – currently estimated at more than 4.5 billion – could exceed 5 billion by 2025.

    The index’s findings bore particularly bad news for Bangladesh, which topped both lists, with its capital, Dhaka, ranked the most vulnerable city due to its exposure to threats such as flooding, storm surge, cyclones and landslides, its susceptible population and weak institutional capacity to address the problem.

    Along with the Bangladeshi capital, the four other cities categorized as facing “extreme risk” from climate change impacts were also located in Asia – Mumbai, Manila, Kolkata and Bangkok – and projected to be centers of high economic growth.