The report, presented at the UN climate negotiations in Madrid, Spain yesterday, showed Japan ranking first and Germany third.
Greenpeace Philippines/Basilio Sepe
Philippines 2nd most affected by extreme weather
Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines ranked second among countries most affected by extreme weather events in 2018, according to a report of environmental think tank Global Climate Risk Index 2020.

The report, presented at the UN climate negotiations in Madrid, Spain yesterday, showed Japan ranking first and Germany third.

Madagascar placed fourth, followed by India and Sri Lanka at fifth and sixth places, respectively.

The report said that extreme weather events are massive challenges especially for poor and vulnerable countries, although it also threatens high-income countries.

The Global Climate Risk Index, published by the environmental organization Germanwatch, showed that in 2018 industrialized countries like Japan and Germany were hit hardest by heat waves and severe drought.

The Philippines was hit by the most powerful typhoon recorded worldwide in 2018.

“The Climate Risk Index showed that climate change has disastrous impacts especially for poor countries, but also causes increasingly severe damage in industrialized countries like Japan or Germany,” David Eckstein of Germanwatch said. 

He said countries such as Haiti, the Philippines and Pakistan are repeatedly hit by extreme weather events and have no time to fully recover.

“That underlines the importance of reliable financial support mechanisms for poor countries like these not only in climate change adaptation, but also in dealing with climate-induced loss and damage,” he said.

Heat waves were one major cause of damage in 2018. Of the 10 most affected countries last year, Germany, Japan and India suffered from extended periods of heat. Recent science has confirmed the long established link between climate change and the frequency and severity of extreme heat. In Europe, extreme heat spells are now up to 100 times more likely than a century ago. Furthermore, due to lack of data, impacts of heatwaves on the African continent may be under-represented.

“The climate summit needs to address the lack of additional climate finance to help poorest people and countries in dealing with losses and damages. They are hit hardest by climate change impacts because they lack the financial and technical capacity to deal with the losses and damage,” Laura Schaefer of Germanwatch said.

She said the climate conference must result in a decision to regularly determine the support needs of vulnerable countries.

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