New Index Measures Climate Readiness

The Gain Index. Photo: Global Adaptation.

The world is already dealing with the impacts of climate change.  But not all countries are prepared for the unpredictability that marks the new climate reality.

To promote awareness about the need for national governments but especially private companies to invest in climate change adaptation—now, before it’s too late—the Global Adaptation Institute (GAIN) developed a tool that rates 166 countries according to their vulnerability in the face of climate change and their readiness in the event of disaster.

Released at the GAIN Annual Meeting & Scientific Convening in Washington, DC last month, The Gain Index provides each country with a score based on the challenges that they face versus the measures they have taken to adapt to these challenges. Countries fall into one of four quandrants depending on their score: those countries that face the greatest challenges and have yet to adapt; those countries that have great challenges but are already adapting; those countries with few present challenges who have time to adapt; and those countries that have few challenges and have already adapted.

Denmark scored highest in the GAIN Index with 85.4. Central African Republic came in last place with a score of 37.6.  Generally, developed countries in Europe, North America, and Asia fared well compared to developing countries in South and Central America, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Unlike CASE Maps, which is focused on the future, the GAIN Index provides data from 1995 to the present to provide countries with a measuring stick that they can use to determine how well they’re meeting the adaptation challenge.

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