August 3, 2020

Spain, increasingly exposed and vulnerable to climate change – La Provincia

The climate vulnerability motivated by the extreme phenomena caused by climate change not only affect the poorest countries such as Myanmar or Haiti, but also the most developed, such as Japan, Germany or Canada are among the territories that have suffered the greatest impacts, according to the German Watch observatory in its 'Climate vulnerability index'.

The study, which was presented this Wednesday in the framework of the XXV Conference of the UN Climate Change Parties, puts Spain in the 38th position of vulnerability in 2018, so risk has risen in just one year nine points, since the previous year was in 49th place, as a result of the strong storms and heat waves of the 2018.

If the risk is calculated in the 20-year period from 1998 to 2017, Spain is ranked 34 and 29 if the data is estimated from 1999 to 2018, confirming that the vulnerability to climatic impacts increases.

"Things are clearly getting worse", said during the presentation Mark Winges, of German Watch, which added that the "most powerful and developed countries are also suffering the impacts of climate change."

The 'Climate Risk Index 2020' classifies countries according to their vulnerability to extreme weather events and notes that during 2018 – the study analyzes the data for that year– Japan was the most affected country. In the country of the Rising Sun, almost 1,300 people died from extreme weather that year and the damage exceeded $ 35.8 billion.

Japan is followed in the Philippines ranking, in third place, Germany and in fifth position is India, which suffered damage from torrential rains and in seventh and eighth place are Kenya and Uganda.

Specifically, the document states that Japan and Germany suffered from heat waves and drought, Philippines, ranked 2, by tropical cyclones and that in total in the last 20 years about 50,000 people have died as a result of 12,000 extreme events that have caused 3.5 billion dollars in losses.

It is precisely heat waves, droughts and floods that affect the poorest countries, which also affect the most developed.

Thus, seven of the eight most affected countries between 1999 and 2018 were developing countries with low or medium incomes per capita and over those 20 years, the most affected are Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti.

Winges has also added that Germany and Canada are among the most affected. "The worst impacts do not only affect developing countries," he insisted. The study warns of the increase in damage caused by heat waves that scientists have discovered are getting worse due to climate change.

German Watch representatives who have released the report at COP25 require states that during this Summit reach agreements to support developing countries with financing that more are suffering the impacts of climate change that have caused the most developed countries, so that the poorest do not have to be at the expense of loans to alleviate the damage, something that would keep them in excessive indebtedness that affects their economies .

However, they warn that despite this need there is, and they do not claim, a specific mechanism to compensate for damages caused by the loss of land, culture and human lives and denounce the unwillingness of the industrialized countries that are They have refused to negotiate these issues.

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