As in previous years, the Global Climate Risk Index 2011 analyses to what extent countries have been affected by the impacts of weather‐related loss events (storms, floods, heat waves etc.). The most recent available data from 2009 as well as for the period 1990‐2009 were taken into account. This year´s analysis underlines that less developed countries are generally more affected than industrialised countries, according to the Climate Risk Index. With regard to future climate change, the CRI can serve as a warning signal indicating past vulnerability which may further increase in regions where extreme events will become more frequent or more severe through climate change. While some vulnerable developing countries are frequently hit by extreme events, there are also some where such disasters are a rarity. In 2009, this was in particular the case for Saudi Arabia.