15 Countries Least Vulnerable to Climate Change

15 Countries Least Vulnerable to Climate Change

Harrowing climate change disasters like the Hawaii wildfires or ongoing periods of extreme temperatures like what people faced last summer in the South and Southwest may have you considering a move to a cooler locale. The Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-GAIN) measures data around climate change, including a country’s vulnerability and preparedness.

According to ND-GAIN, “Vulnerability measures a country’s exposure, sensitivity and ability to adapt to the negative impact of climate change. ND-GAIN measures the overall vulnerability by considering vulnerability in six life-supporting sectors – food, water, health, ecosystem service, human habitat and infrastructure.”

Here are the 15 least vulnerable countries.

1. Switzerland

SWITZERLAND slideshow 2020 jpg

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

Thanks to its inland geography, Northern location, and Alpine elevation, Switzerland takes the top spot. It’s also ranked 10th for preparedness.

2. Norway

NORWAY slideshow 2020 jpg

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

Norway’s existing high standard of living means the climate could get much hotter before people faced challenges with hunger or healthcare. It’s ranked 3rd for preparedness.

3. Czech Republic

czech republic slideshow 2020 jpg

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

Like Switzerland, Czechia benefits from its inland location. If you’re looking for a country to move to, and Switzerland is out of reach financially, the Czech Republic is much more affordable. It’s ranked 34th for preparedness.

4. Finland

finland slideshow shutterstock jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Like Norway, Finland combines an extreme Northern location with a high amount of preparedness. Its biggest risk is flooding, especially in coastal Helsinki, but being the 5th-most prepared country helps mitigate that risk.

5. United Kingdom

UNITED KINGDOM slideshow 2020 jpg

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

Despite being an island, the UK’s Northern location makes it less vulnerable than you might expect. Its biggest challenges are its high urban density, dam capacity, and agriculture capacity. It’s ranked 15th for preparedness.

6. Germany

GERMANY slideshow 2020 jpg

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

Germany’s spacious and mountainous geography in Northwestern Europe makes it less vulnerable than warmer countries. Changing flood hazards could affect the country, though. It’s ranked 11th for preparedness.

7. Austria

austria 2 slideshow 2020 jpg

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

Austria fares similarly to its neighbor Germany, with a possible increased risk of flooding in future, but the hills are alive with the sound of low vulnerability to climate change. The county is ranked 16th for preparedness.

7. (tie) Canada

CANADA slideshow 2020 jpg

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

Massive Canada is tied with tiny Austria for 7th-most vulnerable country, but certain parts of the country, like coastal Vancouver are more vulnerable. This year’s wildfires may also indicate a weakness in preparedness, where it’s ranked 20th.

9. New Zealand

new zealand 5 slideshow 2020 jpg

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

Annual water runoff could affect future agriculture in New Zealand, but the country is well-positioned to adapt. It’s ranked 9th for preparedness.

10. Sweden

sweden 3 slideshow 2020 jpg

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

Sweden falls a little behind its Nordic neighbors in vulnerability, owing some to its higher population density in Stockholm as compared to Oslo or Helsinki. Still, it’s well-positioned to combat climate change, and it’s ranked 7th in preparedness.

11. Ireland

ireland 2 slideshow 2020 jpg

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

The Emerald Isle and its cool, foggy nature make it less vulnerable than many islands its size. Its dependence on imported energy is a risk, and it’s ranked 26th for preparedness.

12. Spain

spain 2 slideshow 2020 jpg

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

Spain is the first entry on the list that’s a warm country with easy visa options for Americans. Its lower cost of living also makes it a strong draw for students, young families, and retirees. Climate change could affect its long-term ability to produce grains, and it’s ranked 42nd for preparedness.

13. Luxembourg

LUXEMBOURG slideshow 2020 jpg

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

Tiny Luxembourg is less vulnerable than most countries to climate change, but it may need help with resources over time. It’s ranked 17th for preparedness.

14. France

FRANCE 4 slideshow 2020 jpg

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

Francophiles will delight to see France on the list. Like in many European countries, dam capacity and urban concentrations are risks. It’s ranked 19th for preparedness.

15. Slovenia

SLOVENIA slideshow 2020 jpg

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

Slovenia has lots to offer Americans moving abroad. It’s ranked in the top 10% of all countries for both healthcare and safety. Add low vulnerability to climate change to that list. It’s ranked 25th for preparedness.

14 Countries with Better Healthcare Than the United States

Countries with better healthcare slideshow jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

In some cases, countries have much better outcomes than the United States, and in others, countries have marginally worse outcomes but much more affordable, accessible care. Learn about 14 countries with better healthcare than the US where you can immigrate.

14 Countries with Better Healthcare Than the United States

Should I Rent or Sell My House When I Move Abroad?

Shutterstock 624572792 jpg

Photo Credit: Twenty20.

If you’re a homeowner who’s moving abroad, you may be wondering about what to do with your biggest asset — your home. Here are some of things to consider when deciding whether to rent or sell.

Should I Rent or Sell My House When I Move Abroad?

How to Leave America: 6 Steps to Your New Life

How to leave America slideshow Shutterstock jpg

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Are you thinking about leaving the United States? You’re not alone; as many as 15% percent of Americans say they want to leave the country permanently.

How to Leave America: 6 Steps to Your New Life

 

Jen Barnett Expatsi
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps Americans move abroad. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?

Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 2400x320 1 jpg
Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 1080x1080 1 jpg
Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 2400x320 1 jpg
Banner Affiliates Expatsi 10Disc 1080x1080 1 jpg
Jen Barnett Expatsi
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps Americans move abroad. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?