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Travel Freedom and Climate Adaptation:
Comparing passport strength and readiness to adapt to climate change

According to the New York Times, worldwide, roughly 90 percent of the population will be exposed to one or more climate threats in the coming years. Although no place on Earth is immune from the consequences of climate change, some regions will fare better than others because they are better prepared or less vulnerable. Most experts now agree that over the next 25 years the effects of climate change will become the most prevalent displacement driver worldwide. In this context, Deep Knowledge Analytics in collaboration with Henley & Partners, the global leader in residence and citizenship by investment, were interested to see if there is any correlation between a country’s passport power and its level of climate adaptation. 


By comparing the latest results of the Henley Passport Index, which is the original, authoritative ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa and is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) with the University of Notredame’s ND-GAIN Country Index, which looks at a country's vulnerability to climate change and its readiness to adapt, this exclusive research confirms that many of the patterns that exist between wealth and travel freedom are echoed in the relationship between climate vulnerability and travel freedom. The same is true for adaptive capacity and travel freedom. This is because climate vulnerability and adaptive capacity commonly go hand in hand with a country’s level of wealth. Your wealth, citizenship, and passport really do matter when it comes to climate risk.

Follow Henley Global Mobility Report 2022 Q2 for details.

Relationship between Visa-Free Score and Readiness

Readiness measures a country’s ability to leverage investments and convert them to adaptation actions. The ND-GAIN Country Index measures overall readiness by considering three components – economic readiness, governance readiness, and social readiness. The better prepared a country is, the higher its readiness score. This scatterplot above shows a moderately strong, positive, linear association between readiness and visa-free score. This can be explained by the strong dependence on the country's development and policy direction. The more stable the country, the more it focuses on future prospects and quality of life.


Relationship between Visa-Free Score and Vulnerability

Vulnerability measures a country's exposure, sensitivity, and ability to adapt to the negative impact of climate change. The ND-GAIN Country Index measures overall vulnerability by considering vulnerability in six life-supporting sectors – food, water, health, ecosystem service, human habitat, and infrastructure. Given that lower scores are better and clusters by income group can be seen clearly in the chart above, it can be concluded that more developed countries are less vulnerable to climate change. Upper middle income countries are mainly located in a narrow range on the lower end of the vulnerability axis and their visa-free scores differ widely. Lower middle income countries generally have lower visa-free scores than their more developed neighbours, while low income countries are in the tail of the curve, showing the lowest scores on both axes.


This collaboration between DKA and Henley & Partners showcases 199 countries of the world. We have drawn on two sets of data to compare each country’s visa-free/visa-on-arrival score with its ability and readiness to adapt to the impacts of climate change: Henley & Partners’ Henley Passport Index and Notre Dame Adaptation Initiative’s ND-GAIN Country Index. The research confirms the hypothesis of association between a country's readiness to improve resilience to climate change and its passport strength. High income countries are less vulnerable as well as being more ready to take on adaptation actions by leveraging public and private sector investments through government action, community awareness, and the ability to facilitate private sector responses. At the same time, middle income countries do not have strong policies towards a sustainable future, but remain less vulnerable to climate disruptions. The least developed and poorest countries face the gravest risks and are ill-adapted to climate change, while their citizens have the least travel freedom. The study will be further expanded and studied in greater detail. ​

About Us

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Deep Knowledge Analytics is a DeepTech focused agency producing advanced analytics on DeepTech and frontier-technology industries using sophisticated multi-dimensional frameworks and algorithmic methods that combine hundreds of specially-designed and specifically-weighted metrics and parameters to deliver insightful market intelligence, pragmatic forecasting and tangible industry benchmarking.


It is an analytical subsidiary of Deep Knowledge Group, an international consortium of commercial and non-profit organizations focused on the synergetic convergence of DeepTech and Frontier Technologies (AI, Longevity, MedTech, FinTech, GovTech), applying progressive data-driven Invest-Tech solutions with a long-term strategic focus on AI in Healthcare, Longevity and Precision Health, and aiming to achieve positive impact through the support of progressive technologies for the benefit of humanity via scientific research, investment, entrepreneurship, analytics and philanthropy.

Henley & Partners is the global leader in residence and citizenship by investment. Each year, hundreds of wealthy individuals and their advisors rely on our expertise and experience in this area. Our highly qualified professionals work together as one team in over 35 offices worldwide.

​The concept of residence and citizenship planning was created by Henley & Partners in the 1990s. As globalization has expanded, residence and citizenship have become topics of significant interest among the increasing number of internationally mobile entrepreneurs and investors whom we proudly serve every day.

​Trusted by governments, the firm also runs a leading government advisory practice that has raised more than USD 10 billion in foreign direct investment. We have been involved in strategic consulting and the design, set-up, and operation of the world’s most successful residence and citizenship programs.


All data are used in the represented materials on a lawful basis to carry out a computational analysis for a non-commercial research according to the article 29A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 with amendments.

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