Europe dominates list of countries most prepared for change

European countries lead the way in the list of countries most prepared for major change events, including geopolitics, technology and climate change according to KPMG's 2019 Change Readiness Index, which ranks 140 countries on how effectively they prepare for, and respond to, major change events.

The latest edition focuses largely on the capabilities countries need to successfully address climate change and mitigate associated risks. The Index measures a country's capacity for general change, but KPMG's methodology shows that those same capabilities also dictate a country's preparedness for climate change.

The Change Readiness Index, now in its fourth year of bi-annual publication, assesses each country's change readiness by measuring each across three key pillars of capability: enterprise; government; and people & civil society.

Timothy Stiles, global chair of KPMG's international development assistance services, said: “Climate change is among the most pressing issues we face as a global society. Those countries failing to recognise the impact of climate change are likely to be unprepared for its growing costs, which will be levied on citizens, businesses and economies around the world. Our 2019 report aims to demonstrate that there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to responding to major change.

“Too many nations can be reliant on either business, government or civil society to shoulder the responsibility for change readiness, but in our experience this doesn't yield the best long term results. True preparedness is when each segment of society - enterprise, government, and people and civil society - works in harmony toward a shared outcome.”

The top ten performing countries of the index remain largely unchanged from the 2017 report, with the exception of Norway, which has climbed from 11th to 8th place to replace Finland in the top ten. The UK remained in the top 10 and climbed to 8th place (from 10th), despite mounting political uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

The EU performs above the global average in environmental sustainability compared to other regions. The 2019 Index, however, has found that Europe's financial sector is falling behind the global average and North America, and is performing marginally better than developing markets.

The US now ranks 13th (down from 12th) overall while Canada rose to 16th overall (up from 18th). Despite falling behind Europe on environmental sustainability, the US leads the globe in financial sector preparedness for change, with the report suggesting that North America is now the clear global leader in the adoption of new technologies.

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