In a world where climate change has become reality, Scandinavia is the absolute safest place to make your future business investments. This is the conclusion from a mapping of the most and least climate change prepared countries.

As the CEO of an international corporation, which countries should you focus on as secure growth markets in the new climate economy? Which countries are the closest to a safe bet when making new investments, expanding to new markets, and planning new business adventures?

The short answer is: Scandinavia.

Of course no country will be able to fully cope with the consequences of a possible 4°C or 5°C degrees temperature rise without experiencing instability that will pose great challenges to the economy, markets, and industries etc. But if you consider only investments opportunities, the Scandinavian countries are the safest bet – because they are best prepared to adapt to the negative consequences of climate change. See figure 1.

Figure 1. State of the markets: climate change vulnerability.
Climate change vulnerability, by country

Scandinavia are the absolute top-scorers, when it comes to being well-prepared for the negative consequences of climate change

This is the clear result of a map covering 181 countries’ vulnerability, as well as their readiness to adapt to climate change. The map is made by Eco Experts and is based on data from the Notre Dame Global Adaptation (ND-Gain) Index. It rates countries based on their climate change vulnerability and how ready they are to adapt to an increase in temperature, based on factors such as healthcare, food supply and government stability.

And according to the map, Norway is the number one country with a low vulnerability score and high readiness score. The other Nordic countries also fare well, with Finland ranked as 3rd, Sweden as 4th, Denmark as 6th and Iceland as 8th – consequently landing 5 out of the 10 top spots for climate change survivability making the Scandinavian markets the most secure, in a world where climate change is accelerating.

The most vulnerable countries

At the other end of the scale, we find the world’s least developed and also poorest countries that not surprisingly have the lowest chance of coping well with climate change – and thus making these markets the most insecure to invest in, in the new climate change reality.

The map places Somalia as the country that will be least likely to survive climate change.

Especially countries in sub-Saharan Africa fill the bottom 10 spaces for climate survivability. The map places Somalia as the country that will be least likely to survive climate change.

Also large parts of Asia are highly challenged when considering the right level of preparedness and adaptability to the effects of climate change. The map thus places two of the currently most favored countries when it comes to business investments – China and India – at a not so attractive 59th and 118th place out of the 181 countries.

A deadlock

The Eco Experts also analysed how much carbon dioxide each of the 181 countries emits every year to give an indication of each nation’s contribution towards climate change.

The countries that are placed as climate survivability top-scorers are also the countries contributing the most to climate change.

And this clearly shows the poor/wealthy deadlock that climate change entails – given that many of the countries that are placed as climate survivability top scorers are also the countries contributing the most to climate change. They are the biggest sinners when it comes emitting carbon. The US is placed as number 15th on the climate survivability list, but placed as number two regarding carbon emission levels – only exceeded by China. If you compare the US to Eritrea you clearly see the deadlock: “Eritrea emits just 0.01% of the total carbon dioxide that the US does each year – a mere 0.6 metric tons of CO₂ compared to 4,997 tons of the greenhouse gas,” the Eco Experts writes.