Did you know climate change has caused significant threats to most countries? Even though they are taking the initiative and steps in helping recover from climate change, the most affected countries are the least developed and developing nations around the world? Because they lack the means and infrastructure to recover from severe weather. 

The ND-Gain Index, published by the University of Notre Dame, theorized this, analyzing 181 countries based on a range of criteria that contribute to climate change sensitivity and their readiness to adapt to a warming planet. Healthcare, food security, and government stability are all factors to consider.

A study was conducted by Eco Experts where they came up with a list of countries that are most likely to survive climate change and its consequences. The study included factors such as the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide emitted each year of 181 countries.

The results landed in countries such as Somalia and underdeveloped countries having difficulty surviving climate change. They discovered that the lowest ten countries are all from Sub-Saharan Africa, with Somalia ranked as the country with the low chance to survive climate change due to weak infrastructure, insecure governance, a lack of healthcare, and food and water scarcity. 

The countries with the minor vulnerability were mostly Scandinavian and relatively wealthy, with cohesive governments that set lofty targets for eventual carbon neutrality. The findings also emphasize the importance of these wealthier, more established nations continuing to support the world’s most vulnerable countries in the future. The top ten countries highlighted by researchers are most likely to survive climate change.

1. Norway

Auto dim sidewalk light in Norway to conserve energy
Auto dim sidewalk light in Norway to conserve energy | Image Credit – Flickr

Norway routinely rates well in terms of its ability to combat climate change. In 2020, it presented its revised Paris Agreement objective, which calls for emissions to be reduced by at least 50% below the 1990 level. Norway also maintains its lead in electric vehicle sales, with a staggering 42 percent of all-electric vehicles delivered in 2019.

When walking about Norway, it’s evident what the country’s priorities are, as intelligent streetlights illuminate the sidewalks while automatically dimming the lights in many homes and buildings when no one is present to save energy.

2. New Zealand

Non-existent levels of corruption in New Zealand | Video Credit – Learning Canteen

Like many other countries, New Zealand has a stake in climate change mitigation. But there’s a reason for this: the Oceanian country’s wealth is mainly based in the natural resources. Commodities such as Agriculture, wood products, fishing, and tourism are vital to the country’s economic well-being, and analysts estimate that over 80% of these exports are climate-sensitive.

With a vital component of social assistance and limited to non-existent levels of corruption and abuse in its governance structure, the country’s social system is expected to fair well against the danger of climate change. New Zealand approved a law in late 2019 that sets a net-zero objective for all greenhouse gases by 2050, except biogenic methane, which is primarily produced in the country.

3. Denmark

Denmark aims to reduce emissions to 70% of its 1990 carbon levels within 10 years
Denmark aims to reduce emissions to 70% of its 1990 carbon levels within 10 years | Image Credit – Brink

Denmark’s Parliament passed an aggressive new climate bill in December, aiming to reduce the country’s carbon emissions to 70% of 1990 levels by 2030. Carbon neutrality by 2050 is one of the country’s longer-term ambitions.

The government will be held responsible for these goals by adopting a legally binding emissions target across all sectors of the economy every five years, and Parliament can push the minister of climate and energy out of office if inadequate progress is made, according to legislation.

4. Finland

Finland aims to reduce greenhouse gases by maintaining transportation
Finland aims to reduce greenhouse gases by maintaining transportation | Image Credit – Wikimedia Commons

Finland’s climate policy is known for its two-pronged strategy, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a bioeconomy. The Climate Change Act of the European country adopted a program that intends to reduce emissions by a stunning 80% by 2050, with more immediate goals for 2030 focusing on transportation, housing, and agriculture.

The country’s vast swaths of forestland and reserves of renewable biomass have also become a significant focus for energy production in the future decades, with wood-based energy accounting for over a quarter of the country’s total energy consumption. Finland has also launched a Cleantech effort to encourage sustainable consumption, manufacturing, and innovation.

5. Switzerland

Switzerland’s contribution to climate technology | Video Credit – United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

Switzerland, a small landlocked country, was the first in the world to submit a formal climate plan to the United Nations in 2015, months before nations signed the Paris climate agreement. They just confirmed their goals to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, joining a select group of countries engaged with the United Nations this year.

6. Sweden

Laxede hydro power plant by the lule river, Sweden
Laxede hydro power plant by the Lule river, Sweden | Image Credit – Flickr

Sweden’s climate goals include a 59 percent reduction in emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, with emissions from domestic transportation falling even lower at 70 percent by the same year. Sweden has also gone above and above to reduce emissions by forming a council of climate policy experts.

Sweden’s clean energy sector has made significant progress, with renewables such as hydropower and biofuel currently reporting 54 percent of the country’s total energy consumption. Its efforts to raise awareness about climate concerns are also paying off. A survey indicated that 26% of Swedes are concerned about climate change and the state of the environment, compared to an EU average of 12%.

7. Germany

Germany was one of the countries hardest hit by climate change weather events in 2018
Germany was one of the countries hardest hit by climate change weather events in 2018 | Image Credit – NBC News

Even though Germany was one of the countries hardest hit by climate change weather events in 2018, the European country aspires to be carbon neutral by 2050, with an initial goal of decreasing emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

Last year, the government established its first national climate law, setting annual reduction objectives for individual sectors, including manufacturing and transportation, until 2030. According to the law, if a target is missed or exceeded, the difference will be divided evenly over the sector’s remaining annual emissions budgets until 2030.

8. Austria

The green alternative is a political party in austria
The green alternative is a political party in Austria | Image Credit – BBC

After weeks of discussions with Sebastian Kurz, the conservative Austrian People’s Party leader, the Austrian “Greens” won a series of victories early this year. As a result of the agreement, the Greens will lead four ministries, including those responsible for the environment and justice. 

Austria will now strive for carbon neutrality by 2040 and impose a CO2 emissions tax.

By 2030, 100% of Austria’s electricity is expected to come from renewable sources, and the cost of flying will be increased to encourage more people to travel by train.

9. Iceland

Iceland bids farewell to ‘Ok glacier’, the first glacier lost to climate change
Iceland bids farewell to ‘Ok glacier’, the first glacier lost to climate change | Image Credit – NASA earth observatory

In August, the tiny Nordic nation of Iceland put to rest the Okjökull Glacier, the first Icelandic glacier to expire owing to climate change. Iceland plans to attain carbon neutrality by 2040 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 following the Paris Agreement. Its Climate Action Plan includes more than 48 planned activities to meet its emissions reduction and carbon neutrality targets.

10. Singapore

How Singapore Uses Science to Stay Cool | Video Credit – Bloomberg Quicktake: Originals

The technologically based With its annual mean temperature and sea level rising over the previous few decades, Singapore is not immune to the deteriorating consequences of climate change. Floods could climb over 4 meters in a worst-case scenario, according to the Singapore Meteorological Service’s Centre for Climate Research, an increase in storm surges would swamp cities from New York to Shanghai/London. Singapore has devised a $72 billion strategy to prepare for these expected consequences to protect itself against rising heat and floodwaters.

Conclusion

In short, these countries have made combating climate change a significant priority, setting an excellent example for other countries to follow. If countries take the climate crisis issues more seriously, these approaches can aid in preventing climate change.

Thinley Doma Ghale holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Kathmandu University. She enjoys writing articles on climate change animals and loves to travel and experience new ideas, places, meeting people, and learning from them. As a social science student, research has always been her area of interest.