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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh out of top 10 in Global Climate Risk Index

Update : 10 Nov 2017, 09:12 AM
Bangladesh moved out of the bottom 10 climate risk countries in 2016 despite being hit by several natural disasters including tropical cyclones Komen, Roanu and Mora in the past three years. The Global Climate Risk Index 2018 ranked Haiti as the country worst-affected by extreme weather after it took a direct hit from Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. The long-term study was published on Thursday during a session at the annual UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. Zimbabwe, which suffered severe drought followed by floods, was placed second and Fiji was ranked third in the index, which is published annually by Bonn-based research group Germanwatch. Fiji is still recovering from the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the island nation, and is the president of this year’s UN climate talks. The index analyses to what extent countries have been affected by the impacts of weather-related loss events and was compiled using data collected between 1997 and 2016. It said that between that time, over 520,000 people died worldwide in over 11,000 extreme weather events including storms, floods and heatwaves, while the economic damages amounted to $3.16 trillion. Nine of the 10 worst-affected nations in that period were developing countries, with Honduras, Haiti and Myanmar suffering the most in the low income or lower-middle income country groups. Last year, Bangladesh ranked 6th in the index among the top vulnerable countries. According to most recent scientific research, rising sea surface temperatures also play a key role in intensifying storms. However, the index does not take into account slow-onset climate risks such as rising sea levels or melting glaciers. Most of the affected countries in the bottom 10 of the long-term index have a high ranking due to exceptional catastrophes. Some countries - such as Haiti, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam - are repeatedly hit by extreme weather and have no time to recover fully, Germanwatch said. In a report released with the index, Germanwatch said storms and their direct implications – such as precipitation, floods and landslides – were major causes of damage in 2016. It said the question remains as to how this loss and damage should be further taken up under the Paris Agreement. The climate summit in Bonn is continuing the development of the ‘rule-book’ needed for the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement, including the global adaptation goal and adaptation communication guidelines. A new five-year work-plan of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage is to be adopted by the ongoing 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP).
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