Norway is believed to be the country most prepared for climate change, and has remained so for two decades, while several sub-Saharan African countries are believed to be the most unprepared.
The findings were made through ND-GAIN, which is the world's leading annual index, that ranks over 175 countries based on their vulnerability to the effects of climate change and ability to adapt, Notre Dame reported.
Most of the highest-ranking countries have ready access to amenities such as electricity, sanitation and clean drinking water.
The top 10 countries that were prepared for climate change included New Zealand, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Australia, the United Kingdom, United States, Germany and Iceland, while countries such as Liberia, Sudan and Burundi scored lowest on the index.
"In Norway and the other members of the ND-GAIN leaderboard, we see role models in countries positioned to adapt to climate change," said Jessica Hellmann, research director of the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index. "We also see a need for improvement. Not even the most developed countries are risk-free and completely prepared to deal with climate change."
In the latest index (which boasts improved methodology): "Russia moved up 45 places, China up 42, Seychelles up 35, Iraq up 33, Saudi Arabia up 30, Botswana up 28, South Korea up 27, Nepal up 26 and Zimbabwe up 25." Meanwhile Swaziland moved down 25 points,Guatemala 26, Mauritius 29, El Salvador 30, Jordan 32, Belize 39, and Romani 39.
The index keeps track of more than just climate change risk; it also reveals different nations' progress over the past 18 years. The information can be used as a tool by policymakers, the private sector and nonprofits and is available to anybody with internet connection.
"ND-GAIN continues to be an open, transparent and actionable index, which has been conceived with the aid of open-source, state-of-the-art data and analysis tools," said Nitesh Chawla, index director of the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index. "ND-GAIN also is preparing a scenario-analysis tool for users to conduct 'what-if' analyses and evaluate the impact of different possible action plans. This actionable nature of the index, and the tools we have, allows us to provide customized products to partners and other interested parties."