Climate risk and response in Asia
OVID-19 is highlighting the importance of risk and resilience, and as the world focuses on recovery, it is important to not lose sight of climate risk. The Earth’s climate is changing after more than 10,000 years of relative stability, and Asia is on the front line. Climate science tells us that, absent adaptation and mitigation, the climate hazards the region faces in the future, from heat waves to flooding, are likely to be more severe, more intense, or both. The impacts in Asia in some cases could be more severe than in many other parts of the world. As Asia seeks to grow its economy—and remain a key source of growth for the world—climate is thus a critical challenge that the region will need to manage.
Asia is also well positioned to address these challenges and capture the opportunities that come from managing climate risk effectively. Infrastructure and urban areas are still being built out in many parts of Asia, which gives the region the chance to ensure that what goes up is more resilient and better able to withstand heightened risk. Like all parts of the world, Asia can also contribute to reducing emissions; climate science tells us that further warming will continue until net zero emissions are reached. If policy makers and business leaders can harness the region’s innovative spirit, talent, and flexibility, Asia could lead a global response to climate risk by adapting and by mitigating the most severe potential consequences.
This paper, part of an ongoing series about the Future of Asia, is a preview of research to be published in 2020 that examines how climate risk could play out in Asia, both in physical hazards and in the socioeconomic impacts resulting from those hazards, and what measures can be taken to manage the risk. See the report here: