Less developed countries are generally more affected by the impacts of weather-related events than industrialised countries, according to the 2011 Climate Risk Index (CRI). The Global Climate Risk Index 2011 analyses the extent to which countries have been affected by storms, floods, heat waves and other weather induced occurrences using data collected during the 1990-2009 period. The index uses the number of deaths, sum of losses in US$ in purchasing power parity and of GDP.The index presents the following key findings for the period 1990 to 2009:
Bangladesh, Myanmar and Honduras were most affected by extreme weather events.
All of the ten most affected countries were developing countries.
Over 650,000 people died and damage worth $2.1 trillion USD was caused.
In 2009, the most affected countries were El Salvador, Chinese Taipei, the Philippines, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.
Anthropogenic climate change will lead to further increases in precipitation extremes and drought.
Attempts are being made by developing countries to mitigate climate related disasters.
Through the adoption of the Adaptation Framework for Implementation with adequate finance, COP16 can provide institutional support to assist vulnerable countries prepare for weather-related disasters.
Many developing countries have increased their efforts to prepare for disasters and to adapt to climate change using various pro-active prevention options. The paper discusses the following ways forward:
Disaster prevention: action can be taken to better prepare for disasters and adapt to climate change using a qualitative approach to judge progress on risk reduction.
Climate insurance: promoting regional insurance schemes like the Caribbean Climate Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) as a complement to pro-active adaptation should be pursued and incentivised to address loss and damages from extreme weather events.
The provision of institutional and financial support for vulnerable countries should be increased in the near future, and the adoption of an ambitious Adaptation Framework for Implementation in Cancún at COP16 could be an important catalyst for that.