How ready is India for climate change

World Risk Index (World Risk Index-WRI) – by 2020, serious due to excessive vulnerability to natural disasters to deal with India ‘climate reality’ poorly designed ( Poorly Prepared) was.

Key points of index

  • India was ranked 89 out of 181 countries in the WRI-2020. After Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, India is the fourth highest risk country in South Asia due to climate change.
  • According to the report, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives have performed better than India in dealing with severe disasters. India lagged behind these three neighboring countries in preparations to deal with extreme events.
  • India and other South Asian countries have marginally improved their ranking in the World Risk Index over the course of a year. Bhutan improved the most in its ranking. Pakistan is the place after Bhutan.
  • Compared to WRI-2019, all South Asian countries have also slipped in the rankings in terms of favorable capacity building to deal with the reality of climate emergency.
Country  Adaptability (WRI-2020) 

(Out of 100)

Adaptability (WRI-2019) 

(Out of 100)

Afghanistan 92.09 59.75
Bangladesh 85.81 54.44
Bhutan 72.82 46.65
India 78.15 48.4
Maldives 76.51 36.29
Nepal 83.34 48.85
Pakistan 84.81 51.62
Sri Lanka 77.3 39.94
  • India has also failed to strengthen its climate change capabilities. The country’s first ‘Comprehensive Climate Change Assessment Report’ warns about the dangers of ‘climate crisis’.
  • According to the index, countries with a score above 52.73 were ‘very poor’ in building their capabilities to cope with severe natural disasters.
Country  World Risk Index – Ranked in 2020  World Risk Index – Ranked in 2019 
Afghanistan 57 53
Bangladesh 13 10
Bhutan 152 143
India 89 85
Maldives 171 169
Nepal 121 116

Small island nation 

  • According to the index, Oceania was the highest risk continent, followed by Africa and the Americas.
  • Vanuatu was the highest natural disaster risk country worldwide. This was followed by Tonga and Dominica.
  • Small island states, particularly the South Pacific Oceanic and Caribbean islands, fall into the category of high-risk countries due to extreme natural events. These included countries at risk posed by the rise in sea water levels as a result of global warming.
  • Despite their low contribution to climate change, small island nations were most affected by the consequences of climate change due to limited financial resources.
  • It is not enough to provide financial resources to these small countries to build capacity suited to climate change. The report suggested that they should be compensated for the damage already done due to climate change.
  • According to the index, Qatar was the lowest risk country (0.31) due to climate change.


  • The report identifies Africa as a hotspot of vulnerability. More than two-thirds of the world’s most vulnerable countries were located in the continent of Africa.
  • The Central African Republic was the most vulnerable country. This was followed by Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger and Guinea-Bissau.

India’s greater vulnerability to climate change 

  • Climate change could pose a major crisis for India by the end of this century due to India’s greater susceptibility to droughts, floods and tropical cyclones.
  • According to the first ever report of the Government of India on Climate Change titled ‘Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region ‘ under the aegis of ‘Ministry of Earth Sciences’, by the end of this century India The average temperature may increase by 4.4 degrees, the direct effect of which will be seen as an increase in the seawater level with an increase in the frequency of heat, heat waves and cyclonic storms.
  • According to this report, if major steps are not taken to prevent climate change, the frequency of heat waves can increase by 3 to 4 times and sea water levels can increase by up to 30 centimeters.
  • In the last 30 years (year 1986-year 2015), the temperature of the hottest day and the coldest night has increased by 0.63 degree and 0.4 degree respectively. The report also says that the frequency of hot days and hot nights can increase by 55-70 percent. This estimate is not good news for India because it is in those countries which can be most affected by climate change.
  • According to the report, the monsoon rainfall decreased by 6 percent between the year 1951-2015, the effect of which can be seen on the Gangetic plains and the Western Ghats. There has been an increase of 27 per cent in the incidence of drought between the year 1981-2011 as compared to the year 1951-1980. Since the year 1950, there has been a 75 percent increase in the incidence of excess rainfall in central India.
  • There has also been an increase in the number of powerful cyclonic storms in the coastal areas in the first two decades of this century (year 2000-year 2018). Due to seasonal factors, more powerful tropical cyclones can now occur in the northern Indian Ocean.

World Risk Index (WRI)

  • The WRI is part of the World Risk Report -2020 released on 15 September by the United Nations Institute of Environment and Human Safety (UNU-EHS) and the Bundnis Entwicklung Hilft in collaboration with the University of Stuttgart , Germany.
  • The WRI is calculated through the multiplication of risk and vulnerability based on each country. The WRI is released every year from 2011 onwards.
  • This index shows which countries need to build capacity to deal with and adapt to extreme natural events.


Leave a Comment