A C40 Cities study finds that without urgent action, millions more people around the glove will face grave risks from river flooding, along with more frequent and severe drought by 2050.
C40 Cities has revealed new research quantifying the dire impacts of climate-driven drought and flooding on the world’s largest cities and their residents. Supported by the Grundfos Foundation, C40’s analysis, entitled Water Safe Cities, leverages data from the network’s nearly 100 member cities to forecast the potential impacts of global temperature rise on urban economies and infrastructure.
The findings show that if global warming continued unabated, 7.4 million people in the world’s largest cities will be exposed to severe river flooding within the next three decades, with damages to urban areas expected to cost US$64 billion per year by 2050, even with current levels of global flood protections in place.
C40’s research suggested that devastating river and coastal flooding will unleash enormous economic, health and social consequences that will impact millions across the globe. While cities across both the Global North and Global South are going to be affected by rising sea levels, populations in the Global South are 10 times more likely to be affected by flooding and drought than residents in the Global North.
At the same time, residents of Global North cities will face higher urban damage costs than residents of cities in the Global South. As many as 2,400 hospitals and healthcare facilities in C40 cities could be underwater by 2050, with nearly half of them in India. The research underscores that the world’s most vulnerable populations will increasingly find themselves on the front line of the climate crisis and are forced to endure its worst impacts.
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