Are we taking Climate Change Seriously?

imagesExtreme weather conditions have adversely impacted developing countries in terms of loss of human lives and tremendous loss to natural resources and infrastructure. This is revealed in a recently released brief paper, titled ‘Global Climate Risk Index 2017,’ by German-watch, which has analyzed the extent to which countries have been affected by the impacts of extreme weather conditions. The analysis is based on data for 2015 and for the period 1996-2015.

According to the report, in 2015, Dominica, Malawi and Mozambique were among the worst affected. Haiti, Honduras and Myanmar rank highest for the period from 1996-2015. ‘Global Climate Risk Index 2017’ estimates that nearly 11,000 extreme weather conditions occurred between 1996 and 2015 causing over 528,000 deaths worldwide, resulting in around US$3.08 trillion in associated losses. In 2015, the main causes of damage were precipitation, floods and landslides.

The paper reports that of the ten most affected countries in 1996-2015, nine were low or lower-middle income developing States. Its findings confirm that developing countries are generally more affected by extreme weather conditions than their developed counterparts. Already existing vulnerabilities, the report warns, may further increase in regions where extreme weather conditions become more frequent or more severe due to climate change.

The report contributes to the development of a “rulebook” for the Paris Agreement on climate change issues related to, inter alia, the global goal on adaptation, adaptation reporting and communications, and review of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM). This also reiterates our conviction at India Water Foundation that water is at the core of SDGs and Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

by Dr. Arvind Kumar, President, India Water Foundation

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