India 5th most vulnerable to climate change: Global Climate Risk Index 2020
India is the fifth most vulnerable country globally to climate change, according to a new analysis released on Wednesday. India has also recorded the highest number of fatalities due to climate change and the second highest monetary losses from its impact in 2018.
The Global Climate Risk Index 2020, published by environmental think tank Germanwatch which assessed 181 countries and quantified impacts of climate change through economic losses, losses to GDP and fatalities to arrive at a ranking, found Japan to be the most vulnerable followed by Philippines, Germany, Madagascar and India.
The southwest monsoon in 2018 severely affected India, the analysis said adding that Kerala was especially impacted where 324 people died because of drowning or being buried in the landslides set off by the flooding—the worst in hundred years.
“Over 220, 000 people had to leave their homes, 20 000 houses and 80 dams were destroyed. The damage amounted to US$ 2.8 billion. India east coast was also hit by cyclones Titli and Gaja in October and November 2018. With wind speeds of up to 150 kilometres per hour, cyclone Titli killed at least eight people and left around 450 000 without electricity,” according to the Index.
Japan remains the most vulnerable, according to the analysis, because it was hit by extreme weather events in 2018. From 6th to 8th of July, heavy rainfall with more than 200 mm/day was measured. The torrential rainfall resulted in flash floods and mudslides, killing more than 200 people and led to over 5 000 houses being damaged and the evacuation of 2.3 million people. The event caused losses to the tune of US$ 7 billion. From mid-July to the end of August 2018, severe heatwave led to 138 fatalities and in September 2018, Typhoon Jebi made landfall in Japan.
Germany experienced the second hottest year in 2018 since records began. The period between April and July 2018 was the hottest ever recorded in Germany, with temperatures 2.9°C above average and led to the death of 1234 people.
The Climate Risk Index — based on data from the Munich Re NatCatSERVICE, one of the largest databases on natural catastrophes, has another set of ranking for the period 1999 2018 — which is based on average values over a twenty-year period. In the 1999 to 2018 period Puerto Rico is the most vulnerable followed by Myanmar, Haiti, Philippines and Pakistan. India is ranked 17th under long term vulnerability.