According to the Global Climate Risk Index, Bangladesh is the most vulnerable nation to extreme weather events, which many scientists say are being exacerbated by climate change. From 1990 to 2008, Bangladesh has lost 8,241 lives on average every year due to natural disasters. In addition, rising sea levels also threaten millions of Bangladeshis.
The report was released today at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. After Bangladesh—rounding out the top ten—comes Myanmar, Honduras, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Haiti, India, Dominican Republic, Philippines and China. No industrialized nations are in the top ten; however Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United States appear in the top twenty.
The index, says experts, is not perfect since it depends wholly on the number of deaths and the destruction of property. If survivors were included African nations would certainly appear on the list, according to Dr. Saleemul Haq, chief of the climate change cell of the International Institute of Environment and Development.
“Millions of people, who survived extreme weather events and who are suffering across the globe, were not taken into the account,” Haq told The Daily Star.
Due to its particular susceptibility to extreme weather and rising sea levels, Bangladesh has demanded 15 percent of any fund made available for developing nations to adapt to climate change.
During the last 18 years 11,000 extreme weather events killed 600,000 people worldwide.
(11/10/2009) A group of nations especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change have released a declaration calling for developed countries to keep CO2 emission below 350 parts per million (ppm) and to give 1.5 percent of their gross domestic product to aid developing nations in adapting to the myriad impacts of climate change.
(09/03/2008) Warming climate is causing the strongest hurricanes to strengthen and more moderate storms to stay the same, claims a new study published in Nature. However the data on which research is based is already facing fierce criticism.
(11/28/2007) Climate change could spawn the largest-ever migration of environmental refugees due to intensifying droughts, storms and floods, according to a new study published in Human Ecology.