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Indranil Sarkar

Indranil is a weather industry expert with a decade long experience in the domain. He has been instrumental in setting up novel weather services across landscapes for both agriculture and industry, raising capital and crafting a growth story for weather forecasting in India. Currently he is Senior Vice President of Express Weather.

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Catastrophes Linked To Climate Change May Cause $158 Trillion Damage By 2050

According to a World Bank report, 1.3 billion people are expected to suffer the effects of climate changes in the next three decades

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Climate change related disasters are expected to put at risk 1.3 billion people and destroy physical assets to the tune of $158 trillion by 2050, according to the World Bank.

The development bank's disaster mitigation arm Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) made these revelations on Monday in a published report.

To put things in perspective, the population at peril is similar to India's, the second most populous country in the world and the financial risk is double the size of the world economy today.

The disaster mitigation facility stated that the disaster risk comprises three major factors: hazard, exposure and vulnerability. Hazards are the natural disasters like cyclones or earthquakes, exposure is the population and economic assets contained in the hazard prone zone, and vulnerability is the inherent weakness of the people and property to confront these hazards.

The agency surmised that the world today is more susceptible to all these factors and the threat is only going to go up. Climate change is bearing more natural disasters every year. The threat of an expanding hungry ocean gulping down major coastal cities globally still looming large, the yesteryear disasters came from floods, cyclones and earthquakes. While the latter will remain intact and grow in extremity, submerged coastal cities will be an additional calamity to count. Over 1 billion people living in coastal cities are likely to be affected or lose their natural habitat due to rising oceans by 2070 as per a report by Christian Aid.

The population is continuously on the rise, especially in the hazard prone areas (like coastal cities) which increases the exposure to the hazards. The population is expected to rise by 40% in 14 of the top 20 populated cities between 2015 and 2030 globally. Some of these cities will grow by over 10 million people during this period and to astronomic levels by 2070. Kolkata, for example with a population of 1.3 million currently is expected to swell to 14 million by 2070!

There is significant lack of urban planning as well to withstand the onslaught of calamities in the vulnerable areas. This leads to the fragility of the populace and their assets, and their capacity to defy or dampen any hazard that might be directed towards them.

The report also asserted that the annual damage has risen from $14 bn between 1976-1985 to $140 bn between 2005-2014. The yearly figure was derived by averaging out the damages over a ten year period. The number of people affected every year almost trebled from 60 to 170 million people during this period.

The poorer countries are more precarious today and need substantial help from the developed and rich countries in form of aid, technology and advisory to embrace consequential climate mitigation policies. Developing countries need a whopping $4.1 trillion dollars to control carbon emissions globally as envisaged in the Paris Climate deal. Building disaster resilient infrastructure and adapt by this time dense and planning devoid urban sprawls in developing countries will add remarkably to the already monumental figure of $4.1 trillion.

Tags assigned to this article:
environment climate change world bank