India has been included as one of the top 10 countries to suffer in the Global Climate Risk Index 2021 published by the environmental think tank and sustainable developmental lobbyist, Germanwatch, on Monday. According to the report, India was the seventh worst-hit country in 2019 by climate change.
The index, released right before the virtual climate adaption summit hosted by the Netherlands began, ranked India as the second country after Japan to suffer monetary losses due to climate change in 2019.
While the impacts of climate change reverberate across the globe, vulnerable people from developing countries suffer the most from extreme weather conditions like floods, storms, droughts, landslides, etc. Eight of the ten countries listed in the index are developing countries with low income per capita and six of them were reported to have been hit by tropical cyclones in 2019.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres labelled Idai in Africa as the deadliest and costliest tropical cyclone in the south-west Indian Ocean since it led to the death of 1300 people and caused catastrophic damages and humanitarian crises.
In the past two decades, about 475,000 deaths reported globally were linked to more than 11,000 extreme weather events. The index also revealed that most of the lives lost in 2019 due to extreme weather were in India.
Anjal Prakash, Research Director and Adjunct Associate Professor at Bharti Institute of Public Policy, said that it was not surprising to find India in the index considering the heavy monsoon season that drowned many of its cities in the previous years. He also accused the Indian government of sheer apathy in safeguarding its people from the impacts of climate change.
Mozambique and Zimbabwe, the two African countries, were the worst affected two countries in the index. A total of five African countries have been included in the list.
The countries most impacted by climate change have been advised to consider the index as a warning, to start strategically planning to strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable, make available the financial resources required to meet needs and thereby alleviate the issue.
The ten countries included in the Global Climate Risk Index 2021 are,
- The Bahamas
- Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
- South Sudan