Established two years ago, the Climate Vulnerability Forum (CVF) is a global partnership of leaders from diverse countries that are situated in the front-line of the climate battle. The CVF was founded through a joint partnership between DARA and eleven founding countries from Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas in 2009. Initiated by the Maldives government, Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed assembled the CVF members in solidarity to raise the profile of the very present danger of their survival. Their initial steps being to create a ‘global survival pact’ and to decelerate the impacts of climate change by transitioning to a climate resilient low-carbon economy.
The first Climate Vulnerability Monitor was commissioned to provide an overview of countries susceptible to short-term climate change. Climate is defined as statistical weather information, usually 30 years, where temperature, wind and rain are examined to identify trends and cycles of variability to predict possible longer term or permanent climate changes. The first Monitor sought to clarify how and where populations were being affected in the present (2010) and forecast effects in the near future (2030) and to assist the design of actions to avert harm to communities. The monitor supported claims that climate change is already affecting our planet and is human induced. These findings included reports of 350,000 deaths per year due to the rate of change and the effects of deserts, wind, heat, rain, and sea level.
Released in September, the 2nd edition of the Climate Vulnerability Monitor was developed to measure the global impact of climate change and the carbon economy at a national level. The new monitor uses 34 climate and carbon related indicators to calculate and compare the vulnerability of 184 countries in 2010 and 2030, and covers four impact areas (environmental disasters, habit change, health impacts and industry stress).
The second edition identifies the 2,030 impacts that explain what is likely to happen due to the inclement climate change we are already committed to experience. While populations in developed countries have greater awareness of the growing climate crisis and have seen the pro-environmental messaging and statistical proof to garner attention, what seems to be the the most challenging is changing human behavior. Following decades of mass consumption and consumerism to build our economy, to reverse that message is challenging. Investing in the resilience of these countries is essential, yet it will not occur overnight or without climate finance or a green climate fund to assist during times of weather crisis.
Based on the second reports findings, urgent action is needed to halt the profound demise of our rapidly transforming planet, its’ ecosystem and inhabitants. According to Ross Mountain, DARA’s Director General, while it is fortunate that the technological capacity to deal with a problem is present, it is unfortunate that the willful leadership and population who understands is lacking. The Monitor provides a wake up call for governments, the private sector and the civil society in hopes that the information will reach the sad majority who are still skeptical. It also attempts to highlight the cost of inaction and what the positive aspects of action will do.