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WTW on what influences countries’ climate commitment

New analysis by Oxford Analytica and WTW reveals that weakness is the main driver of climate policy commitment in the emerging world, while countries that depend on fossil fuel incomes show the weakest commitment.

Among the 62 countries and territories assessed in the WTW Political Risk Index, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Chile, Senegal and the Philippines were the most committed to prioritizing climate in public policy. They also ranked fourth on a WTW scale of one to five, with a larger number indicating that climate is given higher priority over other major policy goals.

The remaining countries gave the most equal weight to combating climate change and other key policy objectives.

The WTW identified three factors that correlate most closely with each country’s relative climate policy commitment. These were vulnerability to climate change, more effective state or civil service capacity, and oil and gas income.

“Climate has always been a driver of political risk,” said Stuart Ashworth, managing director and head of corporate political risk at WTW. “In extreme cases, food and water are weaponized for political reasons. Understanding a country’s vulnerability to climate shocks will be increasingly important to investors.”

Across regions of the world, African and Asian governments are leading the emerging world in climate commitment. On a regional average basis, Asian countries tend to have strong policy-making practices and efficient bureaucracies to implement political goals, with Malaysia and China being high examples with well-developed climate transformation plans.

Expert ratings for several countries in Africa came in at the top of the statistical predictions, including the top-ranked Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Morocco, Mozambique, Uganda and Senegal. “The new ‘green development’ approaches that many African countries are taking could serve as a model for the rest of the world,” said Sam Wilkin, director of political risk analytics at WTW.

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