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Southeast Asia

Dr Arab Hoballah of the Division of Technology, Industry and Economics at the UN Environment Programme, speaking at the World Engineers Summit on Climate Change 2015. He said that cities should adopt the circular economy in order to cultivate resilience to climate change. Image: Institution of Engineers Singapore

From prolonged droughts in Bangkok to unprecedented rainstorms in Tokyo, cities globally have had to deal with the damaging effects of climate change. Yet many of them still lack the systems and policies that make them resilient. 

Read more: The “boing” factor: the missing element in today's cities

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Countries in Southeast Asia have an opportunity to tackle both poverty and climate change by building greater resilience to natural disasters and reaping the benefits of low-carbon growth.

A central goal of developing countries over the last decade has been to share the gains of economic growth, to make this as inclusive as possible, and reduce inequality.

Read more: Let us all be climate leaders

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Illustration: Jim Pavlidis

Towards the end of this century, if current trends are not reversed, large parts of Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt and Vietnam, among other countries, will be under water. Some small island nations, such as Kiribati and the Marshall Islands, will be close to disappearing entirely. Swaths of Africa from Sierra Leone to Ethiopia will be turning into desert. Glaciers in the Himalayas and the Andes, on which entire regions depend for drinking water, will be melting away. Many habitable parts of the world will no longer be able to support agriculture or produce clean water.

Read more: To stop the boats we must stop the warming

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