German report ranks India fourth on climate risk

Marrakech, Nov 8 (IANS) India ranked fourth on the climate risk index for 2017, the Germany-based independent environmental organisation Germanwatch said on Tuesday.

Its report, published at the outset of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) at Marrakech in Morocco, said there were 4,317 fatalities in 2015 due to extreme weather events in India with a total loss of $40 billion, making it the highest ranking country in terms of economic loss.

The report, the 12th edition of the Global Climate Risk Index, said: “India faced several types of extreme weather events in 2015.”

“After floods in February and March due to unseasonal rainfall, it suffered from one of the deadliest heat waves in world history killing more than 2,300 people in May, followed by a much weaker monsoon than normal,” it said.

But it said Africa is the continent that was hit hardest by extreme weather events in 2015.

According to the report, four out of the 10 most impacted countries globally are African. They are Mozambique (rank one), Malawi (rank three), Ghana and Madagascar (both rank eight).

“Especially flooding affected the hosting continent of this year’s climate summit,” an official statement quoting Germanwatch’s main author of the Index Sönke Kreft said.

Heat waves claimed most lives last year.

More than 4,300 deaths in India and more than 3,300 deaths in France show that both developing and developed countries, respectively, are impacted by extraordinary temperatures.

“Increases in heavy precipitation, flooding and heat waves are to be expected in a warming world,” he said.

People are suffering from lack of protection and insufficient disaster management especially in poor countries, he said.

“The distribution of climatic events is not fair. In our 20 year analysis of weather extremes nine out of the ten most affected countries are developing countries in the ‘low’ or ‘lower-middle’ income category. These are mostly countries with very low emissions, which are least responsible for climate change, he said.

The hardest hit countries in the period 1996-2015 were Honduras, Myanmar and Haiti.

From 1996 to 2015, there were more than 530,000 deaths caused by more than 11,000 extreme weather events, as well as nearly $3.3 trillion (in purchasing power parities) in damages.

–IANS

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