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Uruguay: second in resistance to climate change in America

Uruguay: second in resistance to climate change in America

Since 2010, the index has evaluated the vulnerability and resistance of countries to droughts, storms and natural disasters that climate change can cause. According to the latest index, Norway is the best prepared country in the world with 82.6% adaptive capacity, followed by New Zealand and Sweden. At the opposite extreme is Chad with 31.5%, accompanied by Afghanistan and Sub-Saharan African countries such as Liberia, Sudan and Burundi.

In Latin America, only Chile and Uruguay present levels within what is convenient when facing climate change situations. Chile occupies the top of the podium in the continent with an index of 68%, followed by Uruguay with 62.6% and surpassing countries such as Argentina (57.3%) and Brazil (56.8%). At the bottom of the list are the Guyanas with 46%. According to the index, Uruguay has decreased its level of vulnerability since 2002, when it had its worst levels in terms of access to water, food, health, ecosystem services, human habitat and infrastructure, which placed it 71st on the index. Currently, Uruguay is in 50th place, but "although it is well positioned, challenges still persist in adapting to these situations," the index details.

In terms of vulnerability, Uruguay presents worse results in three areas: the increase in the concentration of population in few urban spaces, the decline in caring for the environment, and the lack of street paving (which has not changed since 1995). Regarding the response capacity that the country has to events of this type, the indicators show that its main difficulties are in the area of ​​innovation.

A matter of luck "Uruguay is one of the countries that can best withstand all the events that are going to come," Luis Seguessa, the president of the Fundación Codes, told El Observador, who investigates the causes and solutions of climate change. In this sense, the researcher explained that although the country is not among the most prepared in the world, its good positioning is due to the advantageous natural conditions that it possesses and not so much to its activity or investment in practical solutions.

In this sense, Seguessa differentiated three fundamental factors that allow Uruguay to be prepared for an environmental catastrophe: access to water, its level of production and the height above sea level.

Regarding water, Seguessa highlighted that the country's hydrography distinguishes it in a world context where water has become a priority good, “as in the case of São Paulo, which, at this moment, has 5% of drinking water reserves for a population of 20 million, "he added.

In reference to the future war for water announced by the Secretary of State of the United States, Hillary Clinton, in 2012, the researcher opined that, as long as the waters are managed well, "Uruguay would not be affected by the problem."

On the other hand, Seguessa highlighted the easy access to food that the country has by having "75% of arable land as few cases in the world." He also referred to the height with respect to sea level that the country maintains "despite being an immense plain." “The sea level is rising very slowly, but it will not reach more than 10 meters in height. Uruguay is covered in that sense because it is not a country with areas under sea level as happens, for example, in Argentina, "he added.

Even so, the researcher raised the lack of oxygen as the “most serious point that the planet and man have to endure today” and that, in his opinion, the international index does not take into account. “It is a subject that nobody wants to touch for global interests. They do not want to talk about oxygen consumption because that consumption is being done by car engines and there is an entire industry there, such as the oil and automobile industries, that do not want to talk about the issue "

For the expert, Uruguay also does not escape from this problem due to the increase in the number of vehicles that circulate on the streets every year. In this sense, he highlighted as positive the initiative that the government had at the time to allow the importation of electric cars and curb "the internal fuel engine of vehicles, which is the greatest predator of all the ecosystems of the planet."

However, he said that the country "could have made many changes that could have favored the fight against climate change and they were not made," such as the conversion of combustion cars to electric. "People here are not ignorant of the problem. There is a certain awareness and I have seen a slight intention of some politicians to want to do something in this regard. I think we have to think more in the community, more as a country and achieve the objectives we have in mind, because there are really very good ideas here in Uruguay and it has been proven, "he concluded.

The Observer
http://www.elobservador.com.uy/


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