Asia most vulnerable to warming
Several countries in Asia are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change over the next three decades, according to a new study done by a British firm specializing in risk analysis.
The Climate Change Vulnerability Index, created by the firm Maplecroft, looks at 42 social, economic and environmental factors pertaining to three core areas: exposure to climate-related natural disasters and sea-level rise; human sensitivity to global warming in areas ranging from farming to population shifts; and individual governments' ability to cope with climate impacts.
Out of 170 countries the firm evaluated, 16 rank at "extreme risk," including Bagladesh at the top of the list with India as number two. The United States comes in on the safer end of the spectrum, receiving a "medium risk" placement at 129 out of all 170 nations.
Several other Asian countries made it into the highest-risk category, including the Philippines at 6 on the list, Vietnam at 13 and Pakistan at 16.
Matthew Bunce, principal environmental analyst at Maplecroft, said multinational businesses should take these findings into account when investing in developing nations in Asia and elsewhere, since firms "with operations or assets in these countries will become more exposed to associated risks, such as climate-related natural disasters, resource security and conflict. Understanding climate vulnerability will help companies make their investments more resilient to unexpected change."
Nordic countries are best positioned to cope with global warming, the report suggests, with Norway at 170, Finland at 169,, Iceland at 168, Sweden at 166 and Denmark at 165. Iceland is the one non-Scandinavian nation to receive a lowest-risk ranking of 167.
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| October 25, 2010; 1:35 PM ET
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