Poor coastal communities most vulnerable to climate change, says World Bank
A major climate report commissioned by the World Bank says poor communities living in coastal cities in Asia and Africa are among the most vulnerable to climate change.
The scientific report, Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience cited settlements most at risk are next to riverbanks and in low-lying areas with poor drainage, few public services, and no protection from storm surges, sea-level rise, and flooding.
The report stated: “These communities – the poor in coastal cities and on low-lying islands – are among the world’s most vulnerable to climate change and the least able to marshal the resources to adapt, a new report finds. They face a world where climate change will increasingly threaten the food supplies of Sub-Saharan Africa and the farm fields and water resources of South Asia and South East Asia within the next three decades, while extreme weather puts their homes and lives at risk.”
The report cites Bangladesh, and the Indian cities of Kolkata and Mumbai as particularly vulnerable to flooding, intense cyclones, sea-level rise and warming termperatures. The report stated to expect between a 4% and 12% variability in daily monsoon rainfall with a 1C rise. Extreme rainfall will intensify the risk of flooding and crop failure. Already this year, India has experienced a very strong early powerful rainfall killing thousands.
“The scientists tell us that if the world warms by 2°C – warming which may be reached in 20 to 30 years – that will cause widespread food shortages, unprecedented heat-waves, and more intense cyclones,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “In the near-term, climate change, which is already unfolding, could batter the slums even more and greatly harm the lives and the hopes of individuals and families who have had little hand in raising the Earth’s temperature.”
The report, based on scientific analysis by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics, uses advanced computer simulations.