99%ofat-risk citiesareinAsia

A global study of the world’s biggest cities finds Jakarta to be at the highest risk, thanks to high levels of air pollution coupled with risks of seismic activity and flooding. Of the 100 most threatened cities by environmental factors, 99 cities are in Asia, with 80 of them in the region’s powerhouses China and India. As the first instalment of Verisk

Maplecroft’s ‘Cities@Risk’ series, the study looks at 576 cities with a population exceeding 1 million, and draws on nine environmental risks, including air pollution, water stress and natural hazards. It also evaluates current and potential future threats to liveability and investment assets. Subsequent rankings covering security and social issues will follow later in the year. “Cities are generally the drivers of

growth,” Will Nichols, head of environment and climate change at Verisk Maplecroft, tells fDi. “So as these cities get more difficult to live in, it will become more difficult for businesses to exist there. “In the longer term, you can see

that might be a threat to cities’ positions as wealth generators and, potentially, you start to question how much they can contribute towards global economies.” India’s urban centres follow

Jakarta at the top of the list. The country is home to 13 of the world’s 20 highest risk locations, with the capital, Delhi, rated as the second highest risk city in the ranking. Delhi is followed by the likes of Chennai (3rd), Agra (6th) and Kanpur (10th), with Jaipur (22nd), Lucknow (24th), Bengaluru (25th), and Mumbai (27th) close behind. Pollution is the main threat to

the health of India’s huge urban populations, with its cities making up the 19 of the 20 most at risk in Verisk Maplecroft’s Air Quality Index. Meanwhile, East Asian cities, such as flood-prone Guangzhou in China, and Osaka and Tokyo in


SB Energy India acquisititon

Adani Green Energy, India’s leading renewable energy firm, announced onMay 19 that it plans to acquire a complete stake in SB Energy India’s 4.9GW holdings for roughly $3.5bn, marking the largestM&A renewables transaction in India to date.

SB Energy India is a joint venture

between Japan-based SoftBank Group and India-based Bharti Group. “This acquisition is another step

towards the vision we stated in January 2020, wherein we laid out our plans to become the world’s largest solar player by 2025 and ... the world’s largest renewable company by 2030,” GautamAdani, chairman of Adani, said in a statement. With this acquisition, Adani’s

total renewable assets will reach 24.3GW while its operating capacity will increase to 4.9GW, mostly in the form of solar parks. Masayoshi Son, chief executive of

No filter: Jakarta named the city most exposed to environmental risk by Verisk Maplecroft

Japan, are most exposed to infrastructure damage caused by earthquakes and typhoons. Outside Asia, the Middle East

and North Africa has the largest proportion of cities categorised as high risk. Extreme water stress and the impact of natural hazards, such as earthquakes, means populous Turkish and Iranian cities dominate the region’s worst-performing urban areas. As far as climate-change risks

are concerned, African cities, such as Kinshasa, Congo, and Lagos, Nigeria, fare the worst as they are not only most exposed to climate extremes, but are also least able to mitigate their impacts. The least environmentally risky

cities are in Europe, the study highlights, with 14 of the 20 least risky cities to be found on the continent. These include Glasgow, the host of the 2021 United Nations’ Cop26 climate change conference, Krasnoyarsk in Siberia, Oslo and Helsinki. But no city comes out as low

risk, as most of the cities that have fallen in the study’s lower-end categories are still classed as “medium risk”. ■ SETHO’FARRELL

SoftBank Group, says “we believe now is the right time to bring in the Adani Group to help drive the next phase of SB Energy India’s growth.”■ NAOMIGALLAGHER

Beyond California

The US-based vegan meat company Beyond Meat has announced that it will open its first production facility in China in the Jiaxing Economic and Technological Development Zone near Shanghai. Producing a range of plant-

based proteins, the facility will be the company’s first in China, following on the heels of its first overseas expansion in the Netherlands announced in June 2020. It will provide faster direct access to the region, improve the cost structure and sustainability of Beyond Meat operations, and incorporate new R&D capabilities for product development, the company said in a statement. According to fDi Markets data,

the manufacturing project in Jiaxing is worth an estimated $55.5m and is projected to create 267 jobs.■ NAOMIGALLAGHER June/July 2021



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