Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Who's most vulnerable to climate change?

Laurie Goering in AlertNet: Which countries are going to suffer most from climate change? It’s a hard question to answer, as any U.N. climate negotiator can tell you. But there’s now an excellent guide that suggests some answers. The Washington-based Global Adaptation Institute has released its annual look at climate vulnerability - a data-rich trove of interactive maps, statistical charts, rankings and other information on which countries are most naturally vulnerable, which suffer governance and other relevant problems, and which are making progress preparing for climate change.

The “readiness matrix”, for instance, suggests that Zimbabwe, Myanmar and Eritrea are the nations least prepared to deal with climate change, while Burundi and Central African Republic are the most intrinsically climate-vulnerable countries.

A disturbingly high number of African countries feature in the “highly vulnerable, least prepared” corner of the matrix. Other states in that category include Yemen, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and India.

The rankings indicate which countries are most vulnerable to - or least prepared to act - on a variety of climate-related threats to food systems, health, infrastructure and water. It’s even possible to correct the rankings for gross domestic product (GDP), to see who’s doing best given their financial limitations....

Earth image by Stephen Slade Tien, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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