Different places are exposed to different kinds of impact, according to the studies. Rising sea levels naturally pose a particular risk to islands and coastal cities. Disruptions to food supply are likely to be particularly damaging to emerging market economies. Air pollution will affect industrial cities more than other places. And according to modelling by Climate Analytics, a non-profit think tank, Africa could be most exposed to reduced labour productivity from heat stress (with a potential reduction of more than 5% by 2050 under current policies), followed by Asia, South America, North America, and Europe.
Overall, HSBC’s own previous Fragile Planet research suggests that the clearest risks are in South East Asia, the Middle East and Africa – where more economies face higher temperatures, greater levels of pollution and a higher number of extreme weather events. On the other hand, populations facing lower temperatures today, such as Switzerland, Norway and Canada, are much less exposed.