Although island nations are at very high levels of risk compared to others, the largest factor affecting vulnerability is not being an island but rather the economic status. Poor nations are most affected by global warming. There governments are much less likely to have the capabilities to react to any disasters or problems that may arise and they lack the funds to prevent them from occurring as well. This was a major discussion point at the first national conference in Cambodia.
I would disagree with the previous posters answer. Although being poor is a big problem when combatting global warming, it seems that since the Copenhagen meetings wealthier countries have accepted their roles in causing environmental damage, and going forward seem willing to finance the majority emergency environmental disasters relief (it will be interesting to see how the UN reacts to the disaster in Haiti).
On the other hand, if a ocuntry is going underwater because of rising sea levels, which many island countries are at risk of if ocean levels continue to rise, then no amount of money will really be able to save them.
I would go further to say that many coastal cities are at great risk too, particularly cities that have a high population. These cities are no only at risk of rising ocean levels, but also at risk of srong natural disasters. Hurricane Katrina is a prime example, in which a stronger hurricane devasted highly populated city, hurting lives, culture, and economics. While island nations are at great risk, the destruction of big coastal cities would have great ramifications around the country and even the world.
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