About: Climate Risk Index (CRI)

About: Climate Risk Index (CRI)

  • The global CRI, analyses impacts of extreme weather events – both in terms of the fatalities (deaths) as well as the economic losses.
  • However, the index does not consider slow-onset events like rising sea levels, glacier melting or ocean warming and acidification.
  • The index is based on data from the Munich Re NatCatSERVICE11, which is considered worldwide as one of the most reliable and complete databases on this issue.
  • In addition to this, the index uses the socio-economic data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • The most recent data available for 2019 and data from 2000 to 2019 was taken into account for CRI 2021.

Global Climate Risk Index 2021

Global findings:

  • As per the index, the top six most vulnerable countries in 2019 were Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Bahamas, Japan, Malawi and Afghanistan.
  • Vulnerable people in developing countries suffered the most from extreme weather events like storms, floods and heat waves.
  • The index highlighted that both the number of severe tropical cyclones and their severity will increase with every one-tenth (1/10th) of a degree increase in global average temperature.
  • Eight of the ten countries most affected between 2000 and 2019 are developing countries with low or lower middle income per capita.
  • Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti were the top three most affected countries during the 20-year period.
  • Between 2000 and 2019, over 475,000 people lost their lives as a direct result of more than 11,000 extreme weather events globally and losses amounted to around US $2.56 trillion.
  • The index also highlighted, that international climate financing to address these issues has remained inadequate.

Findings from India

  • India topped the list in terms of having highest number of fatalities (2,267) and the biggest economic loss (68,812 million USD) in 2019.
  • However, India’s overall CRI ranking in 2019 was at number seven, due to low fatalities per one lakh of inhabitants and losses per unit of GDP. In the long-term CRI accounting for effects from 2000-2019, India ranked at number 20.
  • In 2019, monsoon in India continued for a month longer than usual, with the surplus rain causing major hardships.
  • The floods caused by the heavy rains were responsible for 1, 800 deaths across 14 states and led to the displacement of 1.8 million people.
  • Overall, 8 million people were affected by the intense monsoon season with the economic damage estimated to be US$ 10 billion.

Issues in India

  • India has many different ecologies — glaciers, high mountains, long coastlines as well as massive semi-arid regions which are the hotspots for climate change.
  • Global warming is leading to an increase in the frequency of cyclones, the melting of glaciers at much faster rates, and heatwaves. In 2019, there were eight tropical cyclones in India. Six of the eight cyclones intensified to become very severe.
  • Moreover, majority of the Indian population is dependent on agriculture, which is being severely affected by the impacts of climate change. However, efforts to deal climate change in India are still inadequate.
  • A national adaptation plan was prepared in 2008 followed by state action plans. However, most of the plans lack resources so that they can be integrated into the district development and disaster risk reduction plan.
  • Thus, the government must urgently develop state\ district specific climate-risk maps to to understand which areas need more focus.