Saturday, September 17, 2011

An index to help private, public sectors prioritize investments in adaptation

MarketWatch: Leaders in the global effort to adapt to the massive forces changing our world unveiled this week an unprecedented tool: the first country ranking intended to guide policy and private sector capital to have the greatest adaptation impact.

The Global Adaptation Index(TM) ("GaIn(TM)") is a response to the various challenges of sustainable development including climate change, population growth and economic development. It was developed as a navigation tool to help prioritize and measure progress in adapting to climate change and other global forces, and is online at

"We believe that by creating the right incentives while expanding our knowledge and understanding of the need for adaptation, we can save lives and improve the livelihoods of people around the world," said Jose Maria Aznar, Former President of Spain and Chairman of the Global Adaptation Institute Council of Advisors. "I believe that GaIn will become a natural navigation chart for both the private and public sectors."

GaIn looks at 15 years of data and finds: The United States has lost ground over the past fifteen years. Corrected for GDP, the United States in 2010 ranks 53rd out of 161 countries. In terms of raw score, the United States ranked third in the world in 1995, but today has fallen to 8th. Its vulnerability has risen slightly; and, while its readiness did increase, it was significantly outpaced by several other countries.

Major emerging economies (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, and Mexico) are making significant improvements, both decreasing their vulnerabilities and increasing their readiness. However, India remains vulnerable in its agriculture and food sectors; China must confront strains on its water resources and lacks infrastructure to access internal markets; and South Africa's highly vulnerable health sector drains human resources from innovation. In all these countries, governance and corruption continue to negatively impact readiness....

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