Press Release | 03 December 2010

The Germanwatch Climate Risk Index 2011 shows: developing countries are particularly affected by weather catastrophes

Cancún must lay the foundation for a comprehensive approach to risk management

Cancún, 03.12.10: With the today published Climate Risk Index 2011 in Cancun, Germanwatch has, for the sixth time, examined which countries are particularly affected by weather extremes. "In 2009, surprisingly, countries such as Chinese Taipei, Saudi Arabia and Australia were also among the ten most affected countries," said Sven Harmeling, author of the CRI at Germanwatch. Currently, Saudi Arabia is among the countries in the climate negotiations which repeatedly thwart the important decisions on climate change. "This shows that no country is immune to weather-related catastrophes, although poor countries are those which are overall the most affected ones," said Harmeling. In 2009, El Salvador held the first rank.

There are strong indications that the human-induced climate change will lead to a further increase in weather extremes in the form of heavy rainfall or extreme drought. "Increasingly, developing countries may take part in the initiative for disaster reduction and adaptation to climate change," says Harmeling. Here, further financial and institutional support by developed countries and ambitious climate protection is needed to minimize future risks. "The rich countries, including Germany, therefore, must not stand in the way of the adoption of an ambitious framework agreement for adaptation. Part of this must include comprehensive risk management, built on disaster preparedness. In addition, new regional and international insurance approaches in accordance with the 'polluter pays principle' should be internationally supported," Harmeling takes up the claim for many vulnerable developing countries.

Developing countries are, without exception, among the ten countries that were most affected by extreme weather between 1990-2009. The most affected were Bangladesh, Myanmar and Honduras.

In the evaluation for 2009, Germany ranked 68 and in the long-term comparison (1990-2009) in 28th place.

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