Accepting that climate change is happening, and not merely relying on financial support from wealthy nations, is the key for poor countries to survive the effects of climate change, experts say.
Embracing that a different type of climate may alter the way of life could be the big motivating push that the most vulnerable nations need to be able to adapt and respond efficiently to the changing world.
While it is important to have lots of financial resources to support technologies and start projects to combat climate change, that is not the main solution. Surviving is not about the money, it is about having the willingness to fight climate change early on before things get worse.
Embracing Change, Especially Leaders
The University of Notre Dame has come up with a Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN), which sums up the vulnerability of nations to climate change and other global problems together with their preparedness to boost resilience. According to the index managers, adaptation is rooted in embracing change.
"Many countries are grappling with a hierarchy of needs that puts climate risk close to the bottom," says Joyce Coffee, the managing director of ND-GAIN. The most pronounced challenge in poor countries is to tackle poverty and its effects on things that matter the most, like health.
Coffee says this acceptance of change will not be realized within a nation unless the leaders do so themselves.
Coffee cites the situation of African nation Ivory Coast as an example. In the said country, cocoa is the main product for export. However, since the plants are very sensitive to temperature changes and takes years to grow, the industry is at the greatest risk of peril because of climate change.
Now, if the government will not help the farmers realize the changes, anticipate the effects and prepare for what is about to come, it will be difficult for those who have managed to get out of poverty to triumph over climate change.
Ivory Coast has made tremendous improvements in solidifying its foundation to help the nation manage climate-related risks. In fact, the nation has ranked better by nearly 20 points in the vulnerability and preparedness list of ND-GAIN involving 192 other countries.
Willingness Of The Wealthy To Help
During the December 2015 Paris conference, which was attended by numerous world leaders, wealthy countries agreed to give away $100 billion through the year 2020 to aid nations that have been identified by the United Nations as the least developed cope with climate change.
The money will be placed in the Green Climate Fund, which collates grants from different rich countries and private firms.
The United States even announced a much more ambitious pledge during that time as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the country is looking at doubling the $430 million it has given out in 2014 over the next four years.
But then again, while these financial aids are significantly beneficial, the most essential first step for efficient adaptation to climate change is acceptance.
Global Index Results
The ND-GAIN uses 25 years' worth of data to rank 192 nations every year on their readiness to tackle risks made more severe by climate change. The index specifically looks at factors such as food insecurity, insufficient infrastructure, overcrowding and civil clashes.
The top five countries considered to be the most vulnerable and least ready to handle climate change are Eritrea, Chad, the Central African Republic, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
On the other end of the spectrum, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Germany round up the top five least vulnerable nations. These nations ideally will support their neighbors in terms of finances.
Worthy to mention are the countries that have improved their rankings. These nations include the Philippines, Poland, Mongolia, Laos, Russia and the Solomon Islands, among others. These countries are said to have improved their sanitation, agricultural efficiency and availability of potable water, while reducing slum areas and childhood malnutrition.
Climate Change: Taking A Toll On Human Health
On April 4, the White House released a new report, which details what climate change means for public health and families.
The report explains the different health consequences that humans may have to suffer as climate continues to change. Among these health woes are allergies and asthma due to air pollution, premature deaths due to extreme heat, earlier occurrence of Lyme disease due to warm winters and spring, water-related medical conditions and increased exposure to toxins.