New Global Climate Risk Map identifies, quantifies and puts Dollar figures on Climate Change Risk for 520 cities worldwide
With international agreement on climate change policy still a distant dream, the need for individual cities to grasp the financial implications of their local vulnerability to the ravages of unabated global warming has never been so urgent.
A new, interactive map shown in Figure 1 identifies, quantifies and places actual Dollar values on the climate risk of 520 cities worldwide. Drilled-down data at this scale enables city Mayors to assess local risks in clear, financial terms. Climate risk across the cities featured in the map shows a huge range of vulnerabilities and fiscal shortfalls.
Figure 1. Global Climate Risk Map showing Dollar values of climate risk for 520 cities worldwide (data: PAL).
Funding and planning the adaptation, protection and thus the survival of even a single city against the ravages of global warming is no small matter. Addressing local GDP is a vital factor in dealing with this challenge. To explain the critical balance between GDP growth, CO2 emissions and decarbonisation costs, we recently highlighted the differing requirements of the US and China in their quests to survive global warming as well as examining UK prospects.
This principle applies no less on a local level, and for the first time, we are now able to scale the risks not just to national level, but also regionally and at city level, as exemplified here, using London’s data from the Global Climate Risk Map.
For reference, we also subject London’s climate risk data to our GDP stress tests at different costs of decarbonisation, climate sensitivity, for Paris (2°C) and BAU climate scenarios. Again, we see the calamitous, local effect upon London of high decarbonisation costs and a failure to increase GDP dramatically. However green London may aspire to be, robust protection and adaptation against recurring storm surges and fluvial flooding must also be funded if the city is to survive into the next century.
Table 1. London’s GDP growth grid for climate scenarios of Paris and BAU (Business As Usual), for various combinations of climate sensitivity (a measure of the impact of emissions) and decarbonisation costs.
Rather than wait for international action to save the planet, City Administrators can now get the Dollar figures their localised GDP growth needs to achieve in order to safeguard their communities.
City mayors are now more important to the man and woman in the street than presidents or prime ministers.
Bruce Menzies, Chairman, Predict Ability Ltd (PAL)
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Author: Bruce Menzies
Bruce Menzies is Chairman and co-founder of PAL. He founded Global Digital Systems Ltd that won the Queen’s Award For Enterprise 2011. Bruce is co-author of six books on geotechnics and geology, one of which won the British Geotechnical Association Prize 2002. He holds doctorates from the Universities of London and Auckland, and is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers.