US Remains Stagnant in Climate Change Vulnerability and Readiness, New Data Show

For the fourth year in a row, the United States has ranked 15th in the University of Notre Dame’s Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN) Country Index. The annual index ranks 181 countries on vulnerability to extreme climate events such as droughts, superstorms and other natural disasters as well as readiness to successfully implement adaptation solutions. Since the index launched in 1995, the U.S. has trended each year at or below its previous ranking, except for 2013.

This information comes on the heels of volume two of the fourth National Climate Assessment from the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which states that the country’s expanded mitigation and adaptation efforts over the years have not yet risen to the level necessary for avoiding substantial damages to the economy, environment and human health. Patrick Regan, associate director of the Environmental Change Initiative for ND-GAIN and professor of political science at Notre Dame, said the ND-GAIN Country Index’s data suggest that adaptation needs to take a much more central focus across our cities and towns.

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March 5, 2019

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