A new report from HSBC has categorized India as being the country most vulnerable to climate change — that is, the country most vulnerable to climatic changes, future extreme weather events, response options, and energy transition risks.
In second place, as per the HSBC report, is India’s neighbor Pakistan, and in fourth is one of its other neighbors, Bangladesh. In third is the Philippines.
The Indian subcontinent represents the part of the world most immediately vulnerable to climate change, if the new report is to be believed. Which is exactly why I wrote an article a few months ago discussing the possibilities of what happens when the ~2 billion inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent are faced with the climate changes that are expected to hit the region within just the next century.
The situation is looking increasingly bleak by the year, owing to the fact that little of what would need to occur if extreme climate shifts were to be avoided is actually being done.
Reuters provides more: “The bank assessed 67 developed, emerging, and frontier markets on vulnerability to the physical impacts of climate change, sensitivity to extreme weather events, exposure to energy transition risks, and ability to respond to climate change.”
“The 67 nations represent almost a third of the world’s nation states, 80% of the global population and 94% of global gross domestic product. HSBC averaged the scores in each area for the countries in order to reach the overall ranking. Some countries were highly vulnerable in some areas but less so in others.
“Of the 4 nations assessed by HSBC to be most vulnerable, India has said climate change could cut agricultural incomes, particularly unirrigated areas that would be hit hardest by rising temperatures and declines in rainfall. Pakistan, Bangladesh, and the Philippines are susceptible to extreme weather events, such as storms and flooding. Pakistan was ranked by HSBC among nations least well-equipped to respond to climate risks.”
With regard to Bangladesh, it should be realized that the country is now essentially slated to disappear before too long — the result being that there will be a mass exodus out of the country before the end of the century, and accompanying social problems resulting.
According to the HSBC report, numerous other countries in south and Southeast Asia are highly vulnerable, as are some countries outside of the region, including Mexico, Kenya, Oman, South Africa, and Colombia.
The 5 countries listed as least vulnerable to climate change by the report are Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, and New Zealand.
While the “most vulnerable list” seems fairly credible to me, the “least vulnerable list” seems to have been chosen with politics in mind, from the looks of it. There are a lot of potential scenarios that would/will see northwestern Europe forced to deal with incredibly strange and devastating weather due to potential changes in oceanic circulation patterns and/or atmospheric patterns.
The chosen countries are also highly dependent on imported food (with the exception being New Zealand), that is, food imported from regions that will see greatly declining agricultural yields over the coming decades and century.
Which brings us again to mass migrations, and to possible geopolitical problems. There are no “safe” countries anywhere that I look, and Northern Europe seems to me to be one of the regions that’s likely to be hit hardest over the coming century, so I’m not sure that the HSBC report is quite on the mark.
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