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Current Affairs

India 5th most vulnerable country to climate change

Date: 05 December 2019 Tags: Reports & Indices

Issue

The Global Climate Risk Index released by international environmental think tank Germanwatch , shows that India has fallen from its 15th rank of countries hit most by climate change-induced weather phenomena in 2017, to number five in 2018.

 

Background

Extreme weather events are massive challenges especially for poor and vulnerable countries, but also high-income countries are threatened more and more by climate risks.  Japan topped the list followed by the Phillipines and Germany.

 

Details

  • Experts say that industrialised countries, like Japan and Germany, were hit hardest by heatwaves and severe drought. The Philippines were hit by the most powerful typhoon recorded worldwide in 2018.

  • The poor countries had to face much higher impacts. Seven of the ten countries most affected in this period are developing countries with low or lower middle income per capita.

  • Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti were most affected, according to this index. In the past 20 years, globally, nearly 500,000 fatalities were directly linked to more than 12,000 extreme weather events. The economic damages amounted to approximately US$3.54 trillion.

  • The report says that in India, it was the 2018 monsoon that severely affected the country and contributed to its sliding to the number 5 position.

  • Furthermore, the Indian coast was hit by the cyclones Titli and Gaja in October and November 2018. 

  • India also suffered from extreme heat. While human death toll was kept considerably low due to public measures, the economic damages were quite severe.

Germanwatch Climate Risk Index

  • Germanwatch is a non-profit organisation based in Bonn, Germany. Germanwatch seeks to influence public policy on trade, the environment, and relations between countries in the industrialized north and underdeveloped south.

  • The index looks into the quantified impacts of extreme weather events, in terms of fatalities and economic losses.

  • Germanwatch receives its data for annually calculating the Global Climate Risk Index from the NatCatSERVICE database of the reinsurance company Munich Re, as well as the socio-economic data of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).