London: Indian cities, New Delhi and Mumbai, are among the places that are most prone to multiple environmental risks, says a report.
Among other cities, Guwahati and Bareilly have also been classified as places facing such risks, according to the report prepared by private firm Atkins along with University College of London’s Development and Planning Unit and the UK government’s Department for International Development.
“Our analysis found that the most significant group of cities are those that drive or are impacted by multiple environmental risks… “This group spans some of the world’s largest cities such as Bangkok, Jakarta, Delhi, and Mumbai, to smaller cities such as Guwahati and Bareilly in India,” it said.
Places, under this group, are likely to require action to address risks across a broad front, it added. These cities are characterised by high energy use and carbon footprints, risks from climate hazards such as flooding and cyclones, and risks to regional support systems such as water, food, and natural ecosystems, said the report—’Future proofing cities’.
It noted that with 70 million people in India living in poverty within 59 cities leaves them highly vulnerable to the stresses and shocks associated with climate hazards, resource scarcities and degradation of ecosystems such as forests.
The conclusions are based on a study of 129 cities in 20 countries with 350 million people. The report said that these risks would ultimately damage the future economic growth potential of the cities and impact their ability to reduce urban poverty.
Besides, the study has found that despite the economic rise of India, several cities such as Jaipur and Patna continue to remain particularly vulnerable to environmental risks. “These cities tend to have high proportions of people living in multi-dimensional poverty and informal settlements with poor access to energy, water, and sanitation, and are likely to be impacted greatest by environmental risks such as flooding, cyclones or rises in the price of energy,” the report said.
Of the 59 cities assessed in India, over 48 percent of the population on average live in multi-dimensional poverty, the study said.
“With a 36 percent projected increase in population in these Indian cities by 2025, this is likely to increase the proportion of people vulnerable to environmental risks,” the report said.