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Rising sea levels threaten to submerge Asian apparel factories


Rising sea levels are threatening to submerge thousands of apparel factories in Asia by 2030. As per a report by two Cornell researchers as part of a paper commissioned by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the analysis warns the problem of rising sea levels will impact smaller-scale suppliers most. The analysis, which covered Jakarta, Phnom Penh, Tirippur, Dhaka, Guangzhou, Columbo, and Ho Chi Minh City, overlaid a map of factory locations from open-source factory database the Open Apparel Registry onto data from US climate change think-tank Climate Central on where elevation will fall below the level of a coastal flood on average once per year by 2030.

Climate Central's data is based on projections from global datasets published in peer-reviewed science journals. The overlaid maps paint the gravest picture in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Guangzhou, China, where an estimated 50-60 per cent of factories will be below the level of the average annual coastal flood by the end of the decade.

Saleemul Huq, Director, International Centre for Climate Change and Development, Independent University, Bangladesh says, this calls for urgent action at the global level to both reduce emissions to limit warming while also providing funding for the workers to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change.