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28 April, 2021

5 Min Read

Global Climate Risk Index 2021

Global Climate Risk Index 2021

GS-Paper-3: Environment – UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application

The Global Climate Risk Index analyses to what extent countries and regions have been affected by impacts of weather-related loss events (storms, floods, heat waves etc.). The report is annually released by Germanwatch, an environmental think tank and sustainable development lobbyist. The 16th edition of the Global Climate Risk Index was released on January 25, 2021. The Global CRI 2021 displayed data based on human impacts (fatalities) and direct economic losses due to extreme weather events in 2019 and between 2000 and 2019.

** India was ranked the seventh worst-hit country in 2019 in the Global Climate Risk Index 2021.

Global Climate Risk Index

  • The GCRI is released annually by the environmental think tank and sustainable development lobbyist Germanwatch.
  • It analyses to what extent countries have been affected by the impacts of weather-related loss events (storms, floods, heat waves etc.).
  • It pushes for the need to support developing countries in coping with the effects of climate change.

Highlights of the 2020 year

Global prospects

  • Mozambique, Zimbabwe and The Bahamas were the worst-affected countries in 2019.
  • While hurricane Dorian ravaged The Bahamas; Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi were affected by the single extreme weather event of cyclone Idai.
  • Japan and Afghanistan were the other countries that fared worse than India on the Index, while South Sudan, Niger and Bolivia fared better in comparison but still made it to the top 10 worst-affected countries.

The burden of development

  • Eight of the 10 countries most affected between 2000 and 2019 were developing countries with low or lower middle income per capita.
  • Vulnerable people in developing countries suffered most from extreme weather events like storms, floods and heatwaves, whereas the impact of climate change was visible around the globe.
  • Poorer countries are hit hardest because they are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of a hazard and have the lower coping capacity.

Data about India

  • According to the Index floods caused by heavy rain in 2019 took 1,800 lives across 14 states in India and displaced 1.8 million people.
  • Overall, the intense monsoon season affected 11.8 million people, with the economic damage estimated to be $10 billion (Rs.72,900 crore at $1=INR 72.9).
  • A total of eight tropical cyclones meant that 2019 was one of the most active Northern Indian Ocean cyclone seasons on record. Six of them intensified to become “very severe”.
  • The worst was Cyclone Fani in May 2019 which affected a total of 28 million people, killing nearly 90 people in India and Bangladesh, and causing economic losses of $8.1 billion (Rs.59,066 crore).

Tropical Cyclones – One of the Biggest weather-related loss events in 2019

A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure centre, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain and/or squalls.

Know the formation, characteristics and facts related to Tropical Cyclones at the linked article.

In the Climate Risk Index 2021 tropical cyclones led to six countries being listed among the bottom ten:

  • Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi were struck by Cyclone Idai
  • The Bahamas were hit by Hurricane Dorian
  • Japan was hit by Typhoon Haibis
  • Various cyclones in India

Source: German Watch

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