With CO2 levels of C02 in the atmosphere rapidly increasing to 400 parts per million, dramatic climate change is becoming increasingly probable in our life times….how will this affect longterm profitability and long term growth of the footwear industry and can we prepare proactively?
The US climate news website Climate Central mapped sea levels around the world using a global database of tide gauge measurements. They then combined these measurements with projections of how much scientists expect sea levels to rise with climate change.
They showed that in coming years Asian populations are expected to be the most affected by the rise in sea levels and storm surge flooding due to global warming.
Map via the New York Times
As currently over 43% of China’s population and much of its consumer goods industry is located along coastal areas, about 50 million people are expected to be at risk from rising sea levels. And while the following are probably extreme case scenarios most likely to happen in over 100 years, they also show that we must stabilize and reduce carbon emissions before they destabilize us.
These maps below being especially poignant for those that have travelled to Chinese coastal zones for business. Few people realize that the Pearl River Delta is also the worlds biggest urban area!
Maps via ChinaFile
What may reduce the impact of rising sea levels on the footwear manufacturing industry is that some some international brands are focusing on developing advanced manufacturing that can be used for localized production in more stable parts of the world not affected by rising sea levels.
Highly automated footwear manufacturing systems to produce footwear anywhere in the world, requiring less skilled work and employee training, allowing production facilities to quickly be set up assuming there is access to material supplies.
Of course localized production can also help stabilize carbon emissions by reducing the carbon emissions from shipping. Check out more of my posts on Advanced Manufacturing by doing a quick search in the search bar on the top right of this page.