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Climate change could cost India's financial capital $920 billion

A McKinsey study shows that economic damage incurred by Mumbai from flash floods could almost double by 2050.

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Last Updated: Feb 28, 2020, 06.20 PM IST
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As part of an ongoing assessment, McKinsey studied the impact of a 40-year-flood — a severity that has a 1-in-40 chance of occurring any year — under a scenario of rising temperatures and sea levels by 2050.
By 2050, economic damage incurred by Mumbai from flash floods could almost double, a McKinsey Global Institute report has found.

As part of an ongoing assessment, McKinsey studied the impact of a 40-year-flood — a severity that has a 1-in-40 chance of occurring any year — under a scenario of rising temperatures and sea levels by 2050.

The report found that such an event would cause damage worth $920 billion in Mumbai in 2050, up from $580 billion currently. The average flood water level could rise to 82cm, up from less than 50cm today, while the area of the city affected by flood would jump from 46% to 60%.

The figures were shared by Shirish Sanke, senior partner at McKinsey, at a climate change event. He highlighted the importance of integrating climate risk into developmental planning, claiming that we are stepping outside the zone of climate stability and we are not prepared for it, reported the Times of India.

The report also found that almost 3 million people, living within a kilometre from the city’s coastline (high-tide line), are currently under "severe" threat from flooding, storm surges and rise in sea level.

The analysis builds on a global report titled 'Climate risk and response: Physical hazards and socioeconomic impacts' released by McKinsey & Company at the World Economic Forum in January 2020.

Sankhe also stressed on the need to integrate climate risk into planning. "We are coming out of the safe zone [of climate stability] and we are unprepared," he told TNN.

Asked about the risks posed by the coastal road project, BMC chief Praveen Pardeshi said coastline modification could have consequences, but BMC has accounted for that in project design. "The way in which creek waters come in and out would remain unaffected," he said, adding that eco-concrete would also be used.

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