Press Release | 03 December 2015

Global Climate Risk Index 2016: Serbia, Afghanistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina hit hardest by extreme weather events last year

Germanwatch: Index results underline need for an ambitious Paris outcome that protects the most vulnerable

Paris/Bonn (3rd Dec. 2015). Serbia, Afghanistan and Bosnia and Herzegovina were the countries most impacted by climatic events in 2014. This is the result of this year’s Global Climate Risk Index, launched today by Germanwatch at the climate summit in Paris. "Heavy rains, flooding and landslides have been the defining hazards of the new Global Climate Risk Index", said Sönke Kreft, author of the study and Team Leader for International Climate Policy at Germanwatch. "Patterns of extreme precipitation is what people and countries will likely face in a warming climate."

"It was the poorhouse of Europe that was the worst hit last year", said Kreft. That the majority of impacts from floods, storms and heat waves are borne by poor countries, is also highlighted in the Index's long-term finding. Kreft: "Climate related impacts are unfair. Nine out of ten most affected countries in the period 1995-2014 are among the 'low' or 'lower-middle' income countries, with the most impacted being Honduras, Myanmar and Haiti."

Some countries are being repeatedly battered by extreme climatic events. Pakistan has now been in the 'Bottom Ten' for five consecutive years, while the Philippines were among the ten most impacted countries seven times in the last decade.

"Constant calamities from storms and floods take a heavy toll on the Philippines", said Raymund E. Liboro, representative of the Philippines commenting on the index' results. "We realised that climate change is the defining challenge for our people and the planet. That's why we brokered the Declaration of the Climate Vulnerable Forum - a statement of a group of countries to inject urgency and morality into the climate talks." Kreft adds: "Our index results are a reminder that the Paris climate summit needs to achieve the climate ambition and global solidarity required to safeguard vulnerable population worldwide."

The Global Climate Risk Index:

Note for the editor
The Germanwatch Global Climate Risk Index 2016 is based on the most recent annual dataset from the MunichRe NatCatSERVICE and socio-economic data from the IMF's World Economic Outlook. It features both a short-term and long-term component, analysing the countries most affected by hydrological, meteorological and climatological extreme weather events in the year 2014 and the period of 1995-2014.

The Philippines currently chairs the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). The CVF adopted the Manila-Paris Declaration on Monday evening at COP21. 46 countries sent a strong call for full decarbonization of the global economy and 100% renewable energy by 2050 as well as limiting global warming below 1.5 degrees. They also demand an adaptation goal and the inclusion of loss and damage in the Paris Agreement. The Forum's Vulnerable Twenty (V20) set themselves the target to newly invest $20 billion in climate action by 2020.