Four of the 10 countries hammered hardest last year by climate-boosted extreme weather are in Africa, according to a report released yesterday at UN climate talks in Marrakesh, Morocco.
“Africa is especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,” Global Climate Risk Index 2017 report lead author Sonke Kreft said.
Poor countries in general are more exposed to the ravages of super storms, drought, heat waves and flooding, all of which have become more intense and frequent due to global warming.
“The distribution of climatic events is not fair,” Kreft said, noting that the world’s least developed countries have emitted only a small fraction of the greenhouse gases heating up the planet.
Mozambique tops the list of nations most affected on last year’s climate risk index, followed by Dominica, Malawi and India. Myanmar, Ghana and Madagascar are also among the top 10.The index measures the level of exposure and vulnerability to extreme events.
More than 500 000 people worldwide died as a direct result of almost 11 000 extreme weather events from 1996 to last year, according to the report.
During those two decades, the countries worst hit were Honduras, Myanmar and Haiti. The Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Vietnam and Thailand were also badly affected.
The UN talks, tasked with implementing the landmark Paris Agreement signed in December, run until November 18.