A group of experts from Europe claims that the poorest nations of the planet are more likely to suffer from the dire consequences of climate change such as floods, droughts, famine, and diseases as weather conditions worsen.
German strategy expert Ernst Rauch revealed that 60% of weather-related deaths around the world were among people who annually earn $1,000 or less over the past 35 years. The deaths were mostly caused by natural calamities like storms, floods, extreme heat, droughts and forest fires, and the countries most affected by them were low earning nations such as Haiti, Afghanistan, Nepal, Somalia, Madagascar, and Mozambique. Many of these countries are also seeing the biggest losses from severe weather as a percentage of their GDP, Rauch said.
British risk analyst firm Verisk Maplecroft also confirmed Rauch’s statement. This year they put 50 countries in their “extreme” risk category, with poor and hurricane-exposed nations in the Caribbean, Central America and Southeast Asia among the most vulnerable.
When put into figures, it is revealed that the countries that have a sustained economic growth are coping better with the extreme weather conditions caused by climate change. “Addressing risk from a governance perspective is key. If not, every disaster leads to a further drop in economic development,” Rauch said, “One measure that has worked well in many parts of the world is strengthening building codes. Buildings that can stand up to high winds or flooding can help reduce both deaths and economic losses.”
“Insurance is another way to limit risks”, he added, “alongside shifting to hardier crops, using irrigation, building levees or moving flood-threatened people out of harm’s way – an often controversial move.”
But experts at the British policy think tank Chatham House believe many risk-cutting efforts face challenges of their own.
Countries are also working to set up an international mechanism to address unavoidable “loss and damage” from climate change. That mechanism is expected to be a major focus at U.N. climate talks in Bonn in November, following a year of record hurricanes, floods, wildfires and other disasters.