With 43 Indian cities in the top 100 of Environmental Risk Outlook 2021 study, our country is the most at-risk nation in the world.
Indian cities have been facing environmental challenges, such as heatwaves and untimely rainfall, for several years now and these issues have been attributed to their dense population and high pollution levels. Backing these observations is a recent, 37-page report on 'City Risk Analysis' in the Environmental Risk Outlook 2021 study by Verisk Maplecroft. As per this report, Kanpur has been ranked 10th, followed by Jaipur (22nd), Lucknow (24th) and Mumbai (27th). With 43 Indian cities in the top 100, our country is the most at-risk nation in the world!
Pollution identified as the main threat
The maximum number of cities featured in the City Risk Analysis, which accounts for environmentally vulnerable municipalities in the world, are located in India. Facing the biggest environmental challenge- pollution, are the approximately 1.5 billion people that live in the urban areas of this country.
The capital cities such as Lucknow, Jaipur and Mumbai, have reserved spots among the top 30 in this list. A remark by Verisk Maplecroft states that though certain cities have not been ranked in this list, it doesn't imply that these cities remain untouched by the perils discussed above.
At-risk cities around the globe
Ranked first is Indonesia's capital- Jakarta, which is hit by the triple threat of flooding, air pollution and earthquakes and following it closely is Delhi, in the second place. 99 out of 100 most at-risk cities around the globe are in Asia and have some of the highest density populations in the world, as well. The least environmentally vulnerable city is Glasgow, Scotland, for it is least susceptible to climate change, as per reports.
Effects of environmental damage & heat stress
As per observations, 2020 was one of the two hottest-ever recorded years on Earth and this has been a sign of alarm and concerns among experts. Will Nichols, head of the environment and climate change research at Verisk Maplecroft, has stated in the report that climate change occurring due to high pollution will impact and multiply weather-related risks.
According to the report, "Higher temperatures and the increasing severity and frequency of extreme events such as storms, droughts and flooding will probably change the quality of living and economic growth prospects of a large number of locations." Further, if organizations fail to adapt to the heat stress, then "it will scorch economies, inflate inequalities, drive migration and amplify natural hazard risks already damaging key urban economies."
With the window of action to minimise environmental impact closing, the impactful measures put in effect by organisations to mitigate the environmental hazards will be tracked by one and all. Hence, this report has been released with an intention to guide corporate decisions and provide insights for governments and communities.