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Climate change: 3 Indian cities face high risks

Last updated on: November 22, 2012 07:56 IST

Climate change: 3 Indian cities face high risks

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Syed Tashfin Chowdhury in Dhaka

Kolkata was ranked seventh in the fifth annual 'Climate Change and Environmental Risk Atlas 2013', recently released by Maplecroft, a British firm specialising in risk analysis.

While Kolkata is among the top seven cities facing 'extreme risk' due to climate change, Mumbai has narrowly escaped the list by coming in at eighth. However, Mumbai and Delhi is still under the 'high risk' category.

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Image: A devotee takes a dip against the backdrop of rain clouds in the river Ganga in Kolkata.


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Maplecroft's Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) evaluated the state of 50 cities of the world, chosen for their current and future importance in global business, in facing climate change risks.

The CCVI looks at exposure to extreme weather events such as drought, cyclones, wildfires and storm surges, which translate into water stress, loss of crops and land lost to the sea.

The most vulnerable city amongst these are Dhaka, Bangladesh's capital, followed by Manila, Bangkok is third, Yangon of Myanmar is ranked fourth, Jakarta of Indonesia is fifth and Ho Chi Minh city stands at the sixth position.

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Image: Women move through a flooded road at Mohammadpur in Dhaka.
Photographs: Rafiqur Rahman/Reuters.

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Climate change: 3 Indian cities face high risks

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According to Maplecroft, with a strong economic growth of above 5 per cent 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 centers should not be underplayed.

The firm said extreme risk cities may see an increase in frequency and severity of key hydrological and meteorological events.

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Image: A man transports his bicycle through a flood-hit area of Darbhanga district, about 200 km north from Patna.
Photographs: Jayanta Shaw/Reuters.

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The latter category comprises of 19 cities with 'high risk'.

Mumbai is at eighth in the overall list along with Delhi at 20th position, Lagos of Nigeria at 10th, Johannesburg of South Africa at 13th, Rio de Janeiro of Brazil at 21st, and Hong Kong (14), Guangzhou (18), Shenzhen (19), Wuhan (23) and Shanghai in China (24).

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Image: Floodwaters bog down traffic beside a bridge under construction after heavy rains swamped Mumbai.
Photographs: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters.

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Climate change: 3 Indian cities face high risks

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New York, which took the full brunt of Superstorm Sandy, is ranked 41st of the 50 cities. Despite the city's exposure to natural hazards, it is only categorised as 'medium risk' due to the USA's ability to adapt to a major climatic event according to Maplecroft.

Chicago, London, St Petersburg, Paris and Madrid are the only five cities classified as 'low risk' ranging from 46th to 50th.

Maplecroft said multinational companies operating in the Asian growth economies will be exposed to spiralling environmental risks.

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Image: Cars in a flooded car park in lower Manhattan, New York, after superstorm Sandy.
Photographs: Adrees Latif/Reuters.

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"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," said Helen Hodge, head of Maps and Indices at Maplecroft. "It is essential for them to identify where suppliers, assets and personnel are most at risk and plan for the long term."

Maplecroft is a global risk and strategy consulting firm based in Bath, the UK. Its work includes analyzing key political, economic, social and environmental risks impacting global business and investment.



Image: Homes devastated by fire and the effects of Hurricane Sandy are seen the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York.
Photographs: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters.

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