Here’s another sign of just how seriously climate change has impacted us: Our country was just named one of the most affected by extreme weather events from 2000 to 2019.
Germanwatch, an environmental policy think tank, released its Global Climate Risk Index report on Monday—where the Philippines ranked fourth most vulnerable country out of 180, over a 20-year period. Only Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti exceeded the country when it comes to climate risk.
Of the top 10 countries with high scores in the climate risk index, the Philippines has recorded the most number of extreme weather events at 317 over the 20-year period. The report also showed that the country ranked 13th in the number of recorded deaths due to extreme weather events in 2019, falling from fourth place in last year’s report.
The damage done by climate change won’t stop there, either. Germanwatch adds that the severity and the number of strong tropical cyclones will increase with every tenth of a degree rise in global average temperature.
Notably, 2020 was named one of the three hottest years on record, with a global average temperature rise of 1.2 degrees Celsius, according to the World Meteorological Organization. The other two hottest years are 2019 and 2016.
And with global temperatures continuing to rise, the report raises another concern: Developing countries are more affected by the impact of climate change. Of the 10 countries most affected by extreme weather, eight are countries with lower middle income per capita.
“Poorer countries are hit hardest because they are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of a hazard and have a lower coping capacity,” said Vera Künzel, Germanwatch’s senior adviser on climate change adaptation and human rights. “Countries like Haiti, the Philippines and Pakistan are repeatedly hit by extreme weather events and have no time to fully recover before the next event hits.”
Germanwatch emphasized that these risks are systematic and that there is a need to strengthen efforts on adaptation amid various climatic, economic and health-related risks.
This sentiment was echoed by 3,000 scientists from around the world, who called on world leaders and decision-makers last week to invest in protecting people from the effects of climate change.
“Adaptation must be at the forefront of decision-making,” the scientists wrote. “If we act now, we have the opportunity to plan ahead and prosper. If we delay, we will pay.”