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COP23: India sixth most vulnerable in the world to climate risk: Report

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BONN: India has been ranked as the sixth most vulnerable country in the world in terms of facing extreme weather events, with Haiti, Zimbabwe, Fiji, Sri Lanka and Vietnam taking the top five positions in a fresh list of nations facing climate risk.

US, Taiwan, Macedonia and Bolivia are the other countries that make up the top 10 of the global Climate Risk Index (CRI) by Berlin-based NGO Germanwatch released on Thursday. CRI is based on an analysis of the number of deaths (due to climatic conditions) per 100,000 inhabitants, extent of financial losses and loss per unit of GDP of countries. India was at number four last year in CRI ranking. Economic and population data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was taken into account while arriving at the rankings.

The report noted that in 2016, India lost the maximum number of lives (2,119) and over $21 billion worth of properties to weather-related events. The US suffered the maximum financial loss (over $47 billion) last year. Analysing the relevant data of the past 20 years (1997-2016), the CRI report found that over 524,000 lives were lost and the world suffered financial losses to the tune of $3.16 trillion as a direct result of more than 11,000 extreme weather events during the period.

In the present analysis, only weather-related events — storms, floods and extreme temperatures (heat and cold waves) — are incorporated. “Geological incidents like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or tsunamis, for which data is also available, are not relevant in this context as they do not depend on the weather and, therefore, are not possibly related to climate change,” said the report.

India figured at 12th position in the long-term (1997-2016) CRI of countries while the 10 most vulnerable countries were Honduras, Haiti, Myanmar, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam, Thailand and the Dominican Republic.

“The CRI does not provide an all-encompassing analysis of the risk of anthropogenic climate change but should be seen as just one analysis explaining countries’ exposure and vulnerability to climate-related risk based on the most reliable quantified data. It is based on the current and past climate variability and also on climate change,” said the report.

Referring to the CRI, the report advised the high-ranking countries to consider the index as a “warning sign” that they are at risk of either frequent extreme weather events or, in rare cases, extraordinary catastrophes.

Updated: November 10, 2017 — 1:41 am

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