This year marked the eve in which our planet reached the seven billionth population milestone. To mark this milestone, a new world map based on a report published by UK think tank Maplecroft maps ‘The Climate Change Vulnerability Index.’ The map shows the fastest growing populations most at risk from environmental impacts. According to the report, some of the world’s fastest growing population centers in Asia and Africa are at greatest risk from the impact of climate change and some of the “big economies of the future” (Bangladesh, India, Philippines, Vietnam and Pakistan) are the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
The Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI), published by UK consultancy, risk analysis and mapping company Maplecroft, examined the climate risks and adaptive capacity of 193 nations factoring in population concentration, development, natural resources, agricultural dependency and conflict.
A total of 30 countries were classified as being at “extreme risk” with Haiti, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Madagascar making up the top five most in peril, while Vietnam, Indonesia and India all ranked inside the top 30. The report warns that Bangladesh’s climate risks could hit foreign investment into the country, undermining the driving force behind economic growth of 88 per cent between 2000 and 2008.
Similarly, the report warned that India’s massive population and increasing demand for scarce resources made it particularly sensitive to climate change.
Other Asian countries attracting high levels of foreign investment such as the Philippines, Vietnam and Pakistan were also classified as facing ‘extreme risk’ from climate change, while industrial giants China, Brazil and Japan are listed as ‘high risk’.
The analysis, which forms part of Maplecroft’s fourth annual Climate Change and Environmental Risk Atlas, also assesses climate impacts on towns and cities. Six out of the 20 fastest growing cities worldwide, including Calcutta, India, Manila in the Philippines, Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta and Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, were also classified as at “extreme risk” by the CCVI.
The United Nations estimates that around half the world population now live in, or close to cities with that figure expected to rise to two-thirds by 2045.
Almost all future population growth over the next 40 years will be absorbed by cities of the developing world which are unprepared for such rapid expansion, according to the U.N.
To see more interesting maps and reports visit Maplecroft.