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Country most threatened by climate change? Study says it’s Philippines

MANILA—The Philippines is the most susceptible country to hazards brought about by climate change, the Global Peace Index 2019 showed.

The study found that 47 percent of the country's population is in areas highly exposed to climate hazards such as earthquakes, tsunami, floods, tropical cyclones and drought.

The Philippines was followed by Japan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Pakistan.

Manila also placed 7th with most risk to a single climate hazard, while Vietnam topped the list.

The study found some 971 million people are at risk of experiencing extreme weather events and breakdowns in peacefulness in the coming decades. 

Four out of 10 people live in countries with low levels of peace, while 22 percent reside in nations with high levels of peace.

The study showed that climate change can "indirectly increase the likelihood of violent conflict" through resource availability, livelihood security, and migration.

It said 61.5 percent of displacements in 2017 were because of climate-related disasters, while 38.5 percent was due to armed conflict. 

"Environmental risks of climate change and resource scarcity had the highest likelihood and impact, out of 5 risk categories including economic, geopolitical, societal, technological and environmental threats, as estimated by the World Economic Forum," it said.

In terms of peacefulness, the Philippines moved up 4 spots to 134th in 2019.

However, it was ranked the second least peaceful country in the Asia-Pacific, next to North Korea.

Iceland, New Zealand and Austria were hailed the most peaceful countries while South Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan were deemed the least peaceful. 

Overall, the GPI found that the average level of global peacefulness improved "very slightly for the first time in five years," with 86 countries becoming more peaceful in 2019.



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