Single title

Climate Resilience in the Greater Bay Area of China

by Maria Francesch-Huidobro

Role of Technological Innovation

In March in Singapore, the drivers and barriers for digitization of different sectors were discussed. Dr. Francesch discussed technological innovation for flood control.

Article 7.1 of the Paris Agreement establishes that parties should aim at globally enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change. While many climate hazards and vulnerabilities are beyond territorial control, the preparedness to withstand and recover from them has to be delivered locally. This article analyzes climate-related vulnerability, adaptation and resilience issues of the Greater Bay Area of China (GBA), a deltaic area that has been identified by the Chinese government as an engine of economic development but has historically been vulnerable to flooding. After providing a contextual introduction to the Greater Bay Area project, the article, first, reviews key studies on past, current and future climate trends focusing on meteorological, climatological, hydrological, and geophysical hazards. Second, it surveys adaptation policies and plans already implemented in cities of the GBA to assess what works and what does not and where the gaps are. Third, the analysis then focuses on the drivers and barriers for the uptake of technological innovation such for flood prevention and for the deployment of emergency responses. The aim of this analysis is to identify the opportunities and risks of innovation in building future-ready local skills and citizen engagement for climate resilience. The analysis finds that given the ambitious plans for the GBA to contribute to the economic development of China, existing and projected vulnerabilities to climate hazards and their potential impact on the built environment and physical infrastructure, business and industry, energy supply, financial services, human health, water resources and biodiversity may not only hamper GBA development plans but also put its businesses and citizens at great risk. Technological innovation diminishes this vulnerability but drivers and barriers to its uptake must be identified and enhanced or removed, accordingly.