The Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) has released a biennial report highlighting the alarming annual losses in global infrastructure due to the worsening impacts of climate change and disasters. This report underscores the critical challenges faced by low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) in maintaining resilient infrastructure systems.
I. Magnitude of Annual Losses:
- The global annual average loss (AAL) in principal infrastructure sectors due to disasters and climate change stands between USD 301 and USD 330 billion.
- When including health and education infrastructure, along with building stock, this range increases significantly to USD 732 to USD 845 billion.
- Approximately half of this contingent liability is held by LMICs.
II. Multi-Dimensional Challenges for LMICs:
- LMICs face a complex set of challenges, including a substantial infrastructure deficit that hinders social and economic development.
- Poor-quality infrastructure due to deficiencies in infrastructure governance.
- Asset loss and damage due to disasters, resulting in service disruption.
- Legacy infrastructure ill-suited to address the challenges posed by climate change and technological advancements.
III. Climate Change Amplifies Risks:
- Extreme climate hazards exacerbate disaster risks, asset loss, and service disruptions.
- Existing infrastructure may become dysfunctional.
- Despite increasing efforts in climate change mitigation, the AAL in infrastructure remains high.
IV. CDRI’s Role:
- The CDRI, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019, is an international partnership aimed at enhancing infrastructure resilience to disasters and climate change.
V. Hazard Distribution:
- Geological hazards account for 30% of the total global AAL, while climatic hazards make up 70%.
- Climate change can significantly raise the AAL, impacting high, middle, and low-income countries differently.
VI. Vulnerable Regions:
- Countries with large infrastructure deficits, weak governance, low fiscal capacity, and limited private investment will be most affected by climate change.
- Many of these high-risk countries are located in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.
VII. Impact on Hydropower Generation:
- Climate change can modify the AAL of hydropower generation, with varying effects on different countries.
- Some may experience significant increases, while others may see reductions in AAL.
VIII. Disparities in Capital Stock:
- High-income countries have a significantly higher per capita value of capital stock compared to LMICs and low-income countries.
- Investments in high-income countries outpace those in LMICs, with the majority going to middle-income countries.
IX. Absolute vs. Relative Risk:
- Some countries, such as the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Vietnam, face both high absolute and relative risks, challenging their infrastructure resilience.
- Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have low absolute risk but high relative risk due to their limited capacity to absorb and recover from infrastructure losses.