The Face of Climate Insecurity: A Surge of Tropical Storms Strike Megacities in Asia and the Pacific

November 26th 2020 - 12:33

The conjunction of multiple, cascading extreme weather events with precarious demographic and socioeconomic trends produces massive humanitarian disasters in the coastal megacities of the Asia-Pacific. The intensity and frequency with which tropical storms are occurring in highly vulnerable urban hotspots reveal the risk of climate change becoming a driver of instability and insecurity.

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In this snapshot, Femke Remmits and Laura Birkman analyze the exposure of megacities in the Asia-Pacific region to extreme weather events and how adapting to rising sea-levels and more frequent and extreme weather events will form a major challenge to the Asia-Pacific region.

To address and adapt to expanding climate induced insecurity and risk, it is important that decision-makers, urban planners, and other relevant stakeholders are aware of and consider the indirect security risks produced by natural disasters in the world’s most densely populated areas. The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) seems well placed to take on a leadership role in this regard.

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Laura Birkman is a Senior Strategic Analyst at HCSS where she focuses on issues related to climate security, sustainable development, and defense. She currently leads HCSS work on Water, Peace and Security (WPS), an award winning partnership that looks to pioneer the development of innovative tools and services that help identify and address water-related security risks. She is also a member of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS).