The results of a new report show which countries are the most vulnerable to risk — and the most ready to respond when disaster strikes.
Bigger storms and more flooding are some of the most most obvious ingredients in the risk stew brewed up by climate change. But what happens after the storms subside? What about all the secondary and tertiary effects of climate change? What about the challenge of finding the money or doing the infrastructural planning necessary to adapt to a changed environment, or the political stability and leadership to see a country through a time of dire food or water scarcity?
That’s the kind of cause-and-effect planning that the
Global Adaptation Index or GAIN has been doing since 1995. Every year GAIN, which was based in DC until itmoved to become part of Notre Dame two years ago, publishes a report that ranks every country in the world on a scale from 1 to 100. The metrics that determine a country’s score are twofold: First, how vulnerable is the country to climate change, defined as “sensitivity to climate, population, infrastructure and resource stress, as well as the country’s adaptive capacity to those stresses”? And second, how prepared is the country to deal with those risks, in terms of “social, governance and economic factors”?
The idea is to give leaders the ability to gauge and assess how a particular country will respond to the rising tides, and all the chaos they bring with them. In November, the group met for its annual meeting to release its latest report — and the results are fascinating, if troubling.
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