Urban Climate Change and Adaptation: Messages from the IPCC Report for Southeast Asia


“An atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership,” is how UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the IPCC report published in February 2022. But what did the report have to say about climate impacts, adaptation and vulnerability in Southeast Asian cities? What are the greatest climate risks for the region and where are we in terms of adapting to them? And why are the concepts of maladaptation and climate resilient development important as we focus our attention on urgent climate action?

This episode delves into these issues. It also discusses the significance of including references to climate justice, colonialism and indigenous knowledge in the report, to future international climate action.

This episode was recorded on 14 March 2022 and covers the IPCC Working Group II contribution to the 6th Assessment Report, published on 28 February 2022.

Professor Chow (@winstontlchow) is Associate Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Singapore Management University and an International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Lead Author. His research interests include ​​urban vulnerability to climate change, urban heat island science, impacts and mitigation, and sustainability in urban climatology.

Quynh Le Vo (@voquynhle) works as the climate campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth Finland. She received a NIAS-SUPRA scholarship in 2021 while writing her master’s thesis on the Asian Development Bank’s climate adaptation projects in Southeast Asia.

The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo.

We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.

About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk

Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast

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