India named as most vulnerable country to climate change: HSBC report

LONDON (Reuters) - India is the most vulnerable country to climate change, followed by Pakistan, the Philippines and Bangladesh, a ranking by HSBC showed on Monday.

The bank assessed 67 developed, emerging and frontier markets on vulnerability to the physical impacts of climate change, sensitivity to extreme weather events, exposure to energy transition risks and ability to respond to climate change.

The 67 nations represent almost a third of the world’s nation states, 80 percent of the global population and 94 percent of global gross domestic product.

HSBC averaged the scores in each area for the countries in order to reach the overall ranking. Some countries were highly vulnerable in some areas but less so in others.

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Climate change and its impact on India
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Climate change and its impact on India
Girls play with a balloon under a flyover amidst the heavy smog in New Delhi, India, November 6, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
A man walks on a pedestrian bridge amidst the heavy smog in New Delhi, India, November 6, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
A man crosses a road amidst the heavy smog in New Delhi, India, November 6, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A Hindu devotee worships the Sun god amidst heavy smog at a pond during Chhath Puja in New Delhi, India November 6, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
A man walks in a pond on a smoggy morning in New Delhi, India, October 31, 2016. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
A newspaper vendor rides his bicycle on a smoggy morning in New Delhi, India, December 1, 2015. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee
Boys look for recyclable items in the waters of river Yamuna on a smoggy morning in New Delhi, India, December 1, 2015. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee
A boy reacts after catching a fish in a dried-up pond near the banks of the Ganges river Allahabad, India, June 4, 2015. Temperature in Allahabad on Thursday is expected to reach 44 degree Celsius (111.2 degree Fahrenheit), according to India's metrological department website. India's earth sciences minister has blamed climate change for a heatwave that has killed 2,500 people and for deficient monsoon rains, after the government said on Tuesday the country was headed for its first drought in six years. REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash
A boy catches fish in a dried-up pond near the banks of the Ganges river Allahabad, India, June 4, 2015. Temperature in Allahabad on Thursday is expected to reach 44 degree Celsius (111.2 degree Fahrenheit), according to India's metrological department website. India's earth sciences minister has blamed climate change for a heatwave that has killed 2,500 people and for deficient monsoon rains, after the government said on Tuesday the country was headed for its first drought in six years. REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash
Labourers unload ice bars from a supply van to be stored for sale at a marketplace on a hot summer day in Kolkata, India, June 3, 2015. Temperature in Allahabad on Wednesday is expected to reach 36 degree Celsius (96.8 degree Fahrenheit), according to India's metrological department website. India's earth sciences minister has blamed climate change for a heatwave that has killed 2,500 people and for deficient monsoon rains, after the government said on Tuesday the country was headed for its first drought in six years. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
Labourers unload ice bars from a supply van to be stored for sale at a marketplace on a hot summer day in Kolkata, India, June 3, 2015. Temperature in Allahabad on Wednesday is expected to reach 36 degree Celsius (96.8 degree Fahrenheit), according to India's metrological department website. India's earth sciences minister has blamed climate change for a heatwave that has killed 2,500 people and for deficient monsoon rains, after the government said on Tuesday the country was headed for its first drought in six years. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
A vendor prepares to carry blocks of ice stacked on his motorcycle, to supply a market on a hot summer day in New Delhi, India, June 2, 2015. India's earth sciences minister has blamed climate change for a heatwave that has killed 2,500 people and for deficient monsoon rains, after the government said on Tuesday the country was headed for its first drought in six years. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee
Men relax after applying mud on their bodies to cool themselves off on a hot summer morning on the banks of the river Ganges in Allahabad, India, June 3, 2015. Temperature in Allahabad on Wednesday is expected to reach 44 degree Celsius (111.2 degree Fahrenheit), according to India's metrological department website. India's earth sciences minister has blamed climate change for a heatwave that has killed 2,500 people and for deficient monsoon rains, after the government said on Tuesday the country was headed for its first drought in six years. REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash
Men relax after applying mud on their bodies to cool themselves off on a hot summer morning on the banks of the river Ganges in Allahabad, India, June 3, 2015. The temperature in Allahabad on Wednesday is expected to reach 44 degree Celsius (111.2 degree Fahrenheit), according to India's metrological department website. India's earth sciences minister has blamed climate change for a heatwave that has killed 2,500 people and for deficient monsoon rains, after the government said on Tuesday the country was headed for its first drought in six years. REUTERS/Jitendra Prakash
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Of the four nations assessed by HSBC to be most vulnerable, India has said climate change could cut agricultural incomes, particularly unirrigated areas that would be hit hardest by rising temperatures and declines in rainfall.

Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines are susceptible to extreme weather events, such as storms and flooding.

Pakistan was ranked by HSBC among nations least well-equipped to respond to climate risks.

South and Southeast Asian countries accounted for half of the 10 most vulnerable countries. Oman, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Mexico, Kenya and South Africa are also in this group.

The five countries least vulnerable to climate change risk are Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia and New Zealand.

In its last ranking in 2016, HSBC only assessed G20 countries for vulnerability to climate risk.

(Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Edmund Blair)

RELATED: These foods could go extinct due to climate change: 

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Foods that could go extinct due to climate change
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Foods that could go extinct due to climate change

Avocados

There are many reasons why avocados are more expensive now than ever before, including a farmers' strike. But the biggest threats to avocados are rooted in environmental issues linked to climate change: hot weather and droughts have caused problems everywhere from California to Australia. Avocados are weather-sensitive and slow growing — making them especially susceptible to the effects of climate change. 

(Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

Coffee

In September, a report from the nonprofit Climate Institute concluded that the area around the world fit for coffee production would decrease by 50% due to climate change. In addition to dealing with drought, climate change has made coffee crops more vulnerable to diseases like coffee rust, which have wiped out more than a billion dollars in crops. 

(Photo by Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Beer

Warmer and more extreme weather is hurting hops production in the US, reports ClimateWatch Magazine. 

And droughts could mean less tasty drinks. Some brewers fear that a shortage of river water may force them to brew with groundwater — a change that the head brewer at Lagunitas said "would be like brewing with Alka-Seltzer," according to NPR. 

(Photo via Getty Images)

Oysters

Right now, climate change is actually helping oysters, as they grow faster in warmer waters. However, warmer waters also make oysters more susceptible to oyster drills, reports Seeker, citing a recent study in Functional Ecology

Drills are snails that attack and eat oysters. They're already a multi-million dollar problem for the oyster industry that could get worse thanks to warming water temperatures.

(Photo via Getty Images)

Maple syrup

Climate change is already shifting maple syrup tapping season and impacting the quality of syrup, according to Climate Central. Southern producers fear that eventually, areas like Virginia won't get cold enough for maple syrup production, even during the chilliest time of the year. 

(Photo via Getty Images)

Chocolate

Indonesia and Ghana, which have historically had ideal climates for growing cocoa beans, are already seeing decreased yields of cocoa. Chocolate companies, like Mars, have hired meteorologists to study the impact of changing weather patterns and attempt to reduce damage. 

"If climate conditions in these growing areas begin to change over time, it may influence both the supply and quality available of an ingredient that we use in our products," Katie Johnson, a senior manager on the commercial applied research team, told Business Insider in September. "Anticipating what the climate will be like 10, 20, or even 100 years from now is difficult, though the better we can understand what the different climate scenarios and risks to our supply chain are, the more prepared we can be in the future."

(Photo by Charlotte Lake / Alamy)

Lobsters

If ocean waters increase more than five degrees, baby lobsters may not be able to survive, according to research by the University of Maine Darling Marine Center and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, the Guardian reported. 

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that the Gulf of Maine will reach that temperature by 2100. In other words, Maine's lobsters could go from a more than $330 million business to extinct in 84 years. 

(Photo via Getty Images)

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