How HK can survive rising seas – see CWR’s New 8-Factsheet Survival Guide

by China Water Risk 23 August, 2022

23 August, 2022 – CWR releases a new 8-Factsheet Survival Guide to help Hong Kong navigate and survive rising seas, which pose multiple existential threats to the region. The HKSAR is behind other island financial hubs: New York and Singapore are using projected levels of rising seas for adaptation planning that are 4-6x HK’s!

If HK gets it wrong, up to 82% of the HKSAR’s revenue streams could be underwater. Plus, we could lose our homes, critical infrastructure and basic needs to permanent submersion unless we take proactive action to effect transformative “low-regret” adaptation for locked-in multi-metre sea level rise. Sadly, the poor will suffer more than the rich from coastal threats. But even the rich, high up in the Peak may not be safe as the entire HK Island could be stranded from rising seas.

Climate threats are accelerating. New York and Singapore have clearly thought these escalating risks through, and are planning adaptation for 2-3m of sea level rise (SLR) by 2100. So must Hong Kong re-examine its exposure to coastal threats and be climate ready – there is simply too much at stake if we get adaptation levels wrong! The SAR government must select the right levels to futureproof its revenues, protect homes and trade from going underwater, and secure basic needs as well as local connectivity routes as they are all low-lying.

 “We’ve prepared this set of 8 factsheets so that Hong Kongers can “see” these risks for only then can we lean into them to see the opportunities” explained CWR’s Dr. Low. “Why can’t the Northern Metropolis be a state-of-the art futureproof coastal hub that is not just vibrant but resilient to rising seas and searing heatwaves? It could be a grand pilot that showcases transformative adaptation for other coastal cities in the world” he added.

Invest wisely in the future … arm yourself with knowledge from our 8-Factsheet Survival Guide for HK to survive rising seas – they are stuffed full of startling as well as alarming facts that are essential for this changing climate. Start to Re-IMAGINE HK now!

Access the factsheets below; see Press Release here or contact us.

Futureproof HK Revenues

  • 3D maps of sea level rise impacts in Happy Valley & Sha Tin racecourses, major revenue generators for the HKSAR
  • 101 on the latest science and levels NYC & Singapore are adapting to compared to the HKSAR
  • Breakdown of the 82% of HKSAR government revenues vulnerable to coastal threats
Defend HK Property from Submersion

  • 3D maps highlighting extensive sea level rise impacts to West & East Kowloon districts
  • Analysis of residential, commercial and industrial buildings affected at HK’s vs. NYC/Singapore’s adaptation levels
  • Overview of maladaptation + better timeline & scenario planning to defend HK property from submersion
Shore Up Trade Resilience

  • Impact maps highlighting how HK’s global trade hub status is at risk due to potential ports & airport submergence
  • HK port & airport rankings in APAC and trade statistics highlighting cargo volumes at risk to rising seas
  • Analysis of HK trade statistics vs HK GDP indicating material exposure to coastal threats
Protect Our Homes

  • 3D impact maps + value-at-risk stats for Whampoa Garden & Taikoo Shing, two “Top 10” HK housing estates
  • Regional & district-level analysis of HK residents affected by coastal threats; income analysis show poor suffer more
  • Top 10 housing estate residents & value affected + snapshot of listed property sales vulnerable to rising seas
Stay Connected! Don’t Get Stranded

  • Map showing how HK Island could be stranded as access points are low-lying from MTR, ferry to tunnel entrances
  • Wider analysis of coastal threat vulnerability for all of HK’s 491 MTR exits, 78 ferry piers as well as Outlying Islands access
  • Map showing the vulnerability of key links to the Greater Bay Area; all vital for trade & food security
Secure Basic Needs

  • At-a-glance % exposure to sea level rise – HK’s water, powergen, bunkering, food storage, data centres & sewage
  • Overview of HK’s reliance on Mainland China: trade values & import of food/fuel/water exposed to coastal threats
  • Highlights opportunity & necessity to collaborate with the Greater Bay Area for long term resilience of the HKSAR
Climate Ready Northern Metropolis

  • 3D & 2D maps highlighting the risks facing the Northern Metropolis and the urgent need for adaptation
  • At-a-glance stats of low-lying assets & residents in the Northern Metropolis threatened by rising seas
  • Highlights opportunity for Northern Metropolis to be HK’s pilot for transformative adaptation in the GBA

  • 3D maps showcasing sea level rise impacts in Central & Kowloon, plus re-imagining a “safe HK”
  • “Unlucky Mangkhut” impact analysis as 70% of commercial activity & 27% of population are in low-lying reclaimed land
  • Overview of HK’s low ranking in the CWR APACCT 20 Index; HK ranks lower than Jakarta & Bangkok


Convinced and ready to assess your risks, but don’t know how? CWR is here to help you stress test your portfolio so that you can adapt and thrive. Email us to get started!