Climate Change: Germanwatch presents Global Climate Risk Index 2010

The climate and development organization Germanwatch has today published its Global Climate Risk Index 2010. The Global Climate Risk Index analyzes to what extent countries have been affected by the impacts of weather-related loss events (storms, floods, heatwaves etc.).

The Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) developed by Germanwatch analyzes the quantified impacts of extreme weather events in terms of people that have died from them, as well as economic losses that occurred. It is based on data from Munich Re´s Nat-CatSERVICE® which is one of the most reliable and complete data bases on this matter. While it does not take into account aspects such as sea-level rise or glacier melting, climate change is an increasingly important factor for the occurrence and intensity of these events. The CRI can therefore provide an indication of levels of exposure and vulnerability to extreme events which countries should see as a warning signal to prepare for more severe events in the future. The fifth edition of the CRI looks particularly at the impacts of extreme weather events from 1990 up until the most recent available data – 2008.


Click on the image below for a larger version (image source Germanwatch)

link to Germanwatch web site



Key messages provided in the report:

  • According to the Germanwatch Global Climate Risk Index, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Honduras were the countries most affected by extreme weather events from 1990 to 2008
  • All of the ten most affected countries (1990-2008) were developing countries in the low-income or lower-middle income country group
  • In total, 600,000 people died as a direct consequence from more than 11,000 extreme weather events, and losses of 1.7 trillion USD occurred
  • Myanmar, Yemen and Viet Nam were most severely affected in the year 2008
  • Anthropogenic climate change is expected to lead to further increases in precipitation extremes, both increases in heavy precipitation and increases in drought.
  • Through an ambitious adaptation action framework, the Copenhagen climate summit can result in a real difference for particularly vulnerable developing countries. A key role herefore needs to be played by scaled-up financial support provided by developed countries.


Click on the image below for a link to the full study (table source Germanwatch)

link to Germanwatch web site



Among the ten countries most affected, there is not one developed or Annex-I country and among the first 20 there are only four developed countries.

“…Saleemul Huq, adaptation expert from the Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and originally from Bangladesh, says: “The Germanwatch Climate Risk Index clearly shows the devastating impacts of extreme weather events on many poor countries, including my own. What is remarkable is that many of these countries are already taking action now to prepare for the effects of climate change; they are not just sitting back and waiting. Nevertheless the richer countries have a clear legal and moral responsibility to scale-up adaptation finance, in addition to their commitments to provide development aid of 0.7 percent of their Gross National Income…”




The “Global Climate Risk Index 2010″ and additional information is available at www.germanwatch.org/cri



(source Germanwatch website and reports)

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