Asian cities are at the greatest risk from environmental concerns comprising natural disasters and air pollution, according to a report by research firm Verisk Maplecroft.
Ninety-nine of the 100 most vulnerable cities are in Asia, as per the report released on Thursday, May 13. Of those, 43 are in India and 37 in China. Both China and India are the world's first and third biggest emitters of greenhouse gases respectively.
Around 1.5 billion people dwell in 414 cities worldwide that are at high risk from natural hazards, pollution, physical impacts of climate change, water shortages, and extreme heat, according to the report, Bloomberg reported.
Indonesia's capital Jakarta topped the list of combined risks contingent on all nine factors assessed by Verisk Maplecroft. India has 13 of 20 high-risk cities in the world, because of its excessive levels of water and air pollution.
China's flood-prone Guangzhou and Dongguan topped the list of cities exposed to the threats from natural hazards, followed by Japan's Osaka, and the capital city Tokyo for being exposed to typhoons and earthquakes.
Lima, the capital city of Peru, is the only city outside Asia that is among the top 100 riskiest cities overall. A serious threat for several cities is how climate change will magnify weather-related risks, said Will Nichols, Verisk Maplecroft's Head of Environment and Climate Change.
"Higher temperatures and the increasing severity and frequency of extreme events will change the quality of living and economic growth prospects of many cities across the globe," he noted.
Meanwhile, African cities face some of the gravest threats from climate change and have the least ability to alleviate those impacts. Glasgow, which is in Scotland, was ranked the safest among the 576 cities assessed for that factor.
"Environmental risk needs to be a central consideration when it comes to making your business, investments, or real estate portfolio more resilient," said Nichols.
He added that the hope is to discern these risks as well as emphasise on strategies for future climate scenarios that will help investors "gain a clearer view of the costs and benefits of investment decisions."