Why Canada is the best haven from climate change

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Agent 204 Agent 204's picture
Why Canada is the best haven from climate change


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The best-to-worst rankings are revealed in the first-ever climate change vulnerability index, produced by Maplecroft, a British consultancy which specialises in the mapping of risk. Its study, The Climate Change Risk Report, looks in great detail at global warming risks in 168 countries.

Africa is the most vulnerable region, and eight of the 10 most vulnerable countries are African, with the Comoros Islands followed by Somalia and Burundi in second and third places. Only five non-African countries are in the 20 most vulnerable. They are Yemen, Afghanistan, Haiti, Pakistan and Nepal.

As might be expected, developed nations score best. Canada is top, followed by Ireland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The United Kingdom is in 12th position, just behind the US. The surprise in the top 20 is Uruguay, which is listed ninth, and the only well-placed nation not to be in the club of countries which are rich, or Western (and usually both).

The originality of the new study is that it does not predict global warming's impacts, from increased droughts to rising sea levels, which has been done for the past two decades by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Instead, it looks at how countries are fitted to meet them. "We're not saying anything about the changing climate," said Andy Thow, one of the report's authors. "We're saying, what's the situation on the ground in terms of vulnerability? If there were an impact, how vulnerable would the country be?"

Vulnerability is examined by the study across six different sectors – the economy; natural resources and ecosystems; poverty, development and health; agriculture; population, settlement and infrastructure; and institutions, governance and social capital. Eventually a figure is arrived at on the scale of one to 10, with one being the most vulnerable, and 10 the most secure. The Comoros score is 1.21; Canada's score is 8.81. (The UK scores 8.06.)

From the [url=http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/why-canada-is-th.... Needless to say, we won't get off scot-free either, but if you're on a ship that doesn't enough lifeboats for everyone, I guess it's good to be hanging around near one. I do hope that Stephen Harper doesn't use this as an excuse to stall on reducing CO2 emissions, though.

[ 04 July 2008: Message edited by: Agent 204 ]