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Booming coastal cities at risk from climate change


A 2016 World Bank report said (see page 84) that Guangzhou is the world city that faces the most serious economic risks from climate change, while Shenzhen is ranked 10th. On the weekend, the New York Times published a report (paywall) on the growing threat faced by China’s southern coastal boom cities from floods and rising waters. In a downpour in May 2014, in the manufacturing hub of Dongguan, “more than 100 factories and shops were inundated” as “water climbed knee-high in 20 minutes.” At the same time in nearby Guangzhou, “helicopters and a fleet of 80 boats had to be sent to rescue trapped residents,” while “tens of thousands lost their homes, and 53 square miles of nearby farmland were ruined.” The Times notes that “researchers say there is abundant evidence that the effects of climate change can already be seen — in higher water levels, increasing temperatures and ever-more severe storms.”


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Jeremy Goldkorn

Jeremy Goldkorn worked in China for 20 years as an editor and entrepreneur. He is editor-in-chief of SupChina, and co-founder of the Sinica Podcast.