William G. Gilroy | November 6, 2014
Norway is the best prepared country for climate change, and has been so for almost 20 years, according to data released Wednesday (Nov. 5) by the University of Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN).
ND-GAIN is the world’s leading annual index that ranks more than 175 countries based on their vulnerability to climate change and their readiness to adapt to the droughts, superstorms and natural disasters that climate change can cause.
New Zealand, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Australia, the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and Iceland round out the top 10 countries most prepared for climate change.
In contrast, Afghanistan and several nations from sub-Saharan Africa such as Liberia, Sudan and Burundi have some of the lowest scores in the index.
The highest ranked countries share certain characteristics. Many do face moderate exposure to climate change, but they have good capacities to deal with the potential climate risks, including high access to amenities such as electricity, sanitation and clean drinking water. In general, they are also less dependent on natural capital, are better prepared for natural disasters and practice good governance.
“In Norway and the other members of the ND-GAIN leaderboard, we see role models in countries positioned to adapt to climate change,” Jessica Hellmann, research director of the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index, said. “We also see a need for improvement. Not even the most developed countries are risk-free and completely prepared to deal with climate change.”