Floods and droughts are likely to cost major global cities $194bn annually by 2050, according to a new research.
A new report published by C40 Cities Network said floods and droughts will impact millions of people across the globe and without urgent action, devastating river and coastal flooding will also unleash enormous economic, health and social consequences.
The research has revealed that as many as 2,400 hospitals and healthcare facilities could be underwater by 2050, if global warming continues unabated, with nearly half of them in India. The report is based on data collated from nearly 100 member cities of the network.
Over 300 power stations are also at risk of being flooded over the next three decades, with more than half located in the US.
The research findings suggest that nearly 7.4m people in the major global cities could be exposed to severe river flooding, with damages to urban areas expected to cost $64bn per year, even with current levels of global flood protections in place.
The impacts will not be evenly spread across the world and populations in the global south are forecast to be 10 times more likely to be affected by flooding and droughts than residents in the global north.
The report also forecasts more frequent and severe droughts to increase water losses in C40 cities by 26%, costing $111bn in damages per year over the next three decades.
Green solutions for water permeability and flood protection, improving water system efficiency and incorporating climate risk into urban planning are recommended to help cities adapt.
The report has urged research institutions, universities and private stakeholders, such as utility companies and insurers, to share data and forecasts and incorporate these into plans to build new energy and health infrastructure. M