Loss of biodiversity or nature could result in cities losing up to $31 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP). Research released Monday shows that 80% of respondents were satisfied with the results.The World Economic Forum.
The report found that more than 70% of the 576 most populous urban centers around the world, with more than 1.4 million inhabitants, are at risk of environmental hazards such water contamination, pollution, and extreme heat. These losses could cost them approximately $31 trillion, or 44 percent of their GDP. This is still below the global average 50 percent, but it could spread to other regions because of the many sectors that are located in cities, such utilities, transportation, and shipping.
More specifically, flooding was identified as the primary natural risk in more than 1,600 cities across the globe. According to the report flooding is a major risk factor. The World Bank estimates that 600million people are most at risk from climate change and biodiversity losses.
According to the report, air pollution and a lack of green space in cities are also major environmental risks and financial drains. The equivalent of 7.5 percent regional GDP was lost due to pollution in the Pacific and southern Asia.
The report states that urban centers account more than 75 per cent of global carbon emissions. Capital allocated for urban climate financing is far below the necessary amount. The 2021 State of Cities Climate Finance Report revealed that $384 billion was spent on climate finance in urban areas between 207-2018 and $5 trillion.
However, the report estimates sustainable development in these areas could provide enough jobs and capital to offset the risks. The report estimates that sustainable transportation infrastructure alone could provide 21.6 million jobs by 2030. Additional 11.66 millions could be created through more sustainable waste handling.
According to the conventional paradigm, urban growth and environmental health are treated the same as oil and water. Akanksha Khatri is the Head of Nature and Biodiversity at the World Economic Forum. This report shows this is not true. Urban development can be supported by nature. Recognizing cities as living systems can help us support urban areas’ health, economy, and planet.