Worried about rising sea levels, stronger and more frequent superstorms, and other natural disasters? Well, according to the latest Global Adaptation Index (GAIN) report, which ranks more than 175 countries based on their vulnerability to climate change and their readiness, you might want to consider moving to Scandanavia—specifically Norway and Sweden. The latest data released by the University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index says that Norway is the most prepared for any natural disasters that climate change could cause.
Rounding out the Top 10 are New Zealand, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Australia, the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and Iceland. Unsurprisingly, the countries that are most at risk are those that are land-locked and are in the middle of internal conflicts. The countries most at risk include Afghanistan and several nations from sub-Saharan Africa such as Liberia, Sudan and Burundi.
So what do the most prepared countries have in common? Well, in Scandanavia at least, many of the countries have the infrastructure, the capabilities and the governance to deal with the potential climate risks—including high access to amenities such as electricity, sanitation and clean drinking water. One could argue that the U.K., Australia and United States could all do with better governance.
“In Norway and the other members of the ND-GAIN leaderboard, we see role models in countries positioned to adapt to climate change,” Jessica Hellmann, research director of the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, said. “We also see a need for improvement. Not even the most developed countries are risk-free and completely prepared to deal with climate change.”
“In the lead-up to the Lima Climate Change Conference next month, and Paris’ Conference of the Parties in 2015, leaders are looking for solutions,” Joyce Coffee, managing director of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, said. “ND-GAIN provides data and analysis that enhance the world’s understanding of the importance of adaptation and inform public and private investments in vulnerable communities.”
ND-GAIN was founded in 2010 as the world’s first private sector-led, nonprofit organization created to save lives and livelihoods in developing countries by promoting adaptation solutions.