July 15, 2024

Climate change risks added to International SOS map

Climate change risks have been added to the risk map of International SOS for the first time.

The annual interactive map shows high risk destinations based on medical and security risks and disruptive events, such as the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and between Israel and Hamas.

Due to growing demand from its clients, International SOS has added climate change factors to the map for 2024.

It is seeing a sharp rise in the number of climate-related alerts being issued to clients as rising global temperatures are increasing health risks around the world.

There were 80% more medical alerts issued by International SOS relating to climate change factors in 2023 compared to 2022.

Dr Irene Lai, Global Medical Director at International SOS, said: “Just one example, the extreme heat events this year, with the first ever named heatwave ‘Cerberus’ hitting Europe, may become commonplace.

“In addition to the physical impacts of extreme heat, there can be significant negative effects on mental health. It is essential businesses plan for this, adapting our way of living and working to protect health, while also taking steps to slow and eventually reverse the trend in rising temperatures.”

Sally Llewellyn, Global Security Director, added: “For the coming year, geopolitical tensions, unrest and political instability are expected to impact business operations.

“This is reflected in the map with the Sahel, parts of the Middle East and Ukraine in the ‘high’ or ‘extreme’ security risk category. International SOS continues to support organisations operating in these locations, including through providing verified information and advice on how such risks will affect their workforce or by supporting evacuations where needed.”

Due to new and evolving conflicts, some of the most notable risk rating increases this year have been parts of Lebanon, Palestinian Territories, Russia and across the Sahel.

Ecuador and parts of Colombia have also increased following a consistent rise in criminality and unrest.

In some regions, the risk rating has decreased. Most notably, the risk ratings for El Salvador and parts of Nepal have reduced following sustained downward trends across a number of risk factors.

Using data from the maps, the following countries could potentially be the most risky to visit in 2024:

  1. South Sudan
  2. Afghanistan
  3. Syria
  4. Libya
  5. Somalia 

Using data from the maps, the following countries may be safe bets to travel to in the coming year:

  1. Iceland
  2. Luxembourg
  3. Norway
  4. Switzerland
  5. Denmark