The annual report by British NGO Christian Aid, published on Monday, December 27, said the 10 most costly air disasters of 2021 exceeded $170 billion in total losses. This figure reflects the increasingly important economic consequences of climate change, which are added to the human tragedies experienced by such events. These 10 disasters killed at least 1,075 people and displaced more than 1.3 million people.
The most costly disaster was Storm Ida in late August and early September, which notably caused flooding in New York City, with economic costs estimated at $65 billion. Then come the July floods in Germany, Belgium and neighboring countries ($43 billion), then winter storm Urey in the United States, with a severe cold snap as far as Texas. Fourth disaster with over $10 billion in damages: July floods in Henan Province, China, costing $17.6 billion.
Then after floods in British Columbia, Canada (November, 7.5 billion), a cold snap in late April in France (5.6 billion), which destroyed prestigious vineyards, Cyclone Yas in India and Bangladesh (May, 3 billion), and Cyclone V-Fa in China (July, 2 billion), floods in Australia (March, 2.1 billion) and Cyclone Tauktae in India and Sri Lanka (May 1, 5 billion).
“The costs of climate change have been high this year.”Kat Kramer, Christian Aid’s climate director and author of the report commented. Last year, the economic damage caused by the 10 most costly weather events approached $150 billion, according to the NGO, which says most estimates “Based only on insured losses, indicating higher real costs”.
This economic classification represents more than the disasters that occurred in rich countries, with more developed and better secured infrastructures. But the NGO determines that “Some of the most devastating extreme weather events of 2021 hit poor countries, which have contributed little to the causes of climate change.” And where most damage is not insured. In South Sudan, for example, floods affected 800,000 people, but the economic cost could not be assessed.
In mid-December, the reinsurer Swiss Re had already published a global estimate of the cost of natural disasters in 2021 in the world, which is estimated at $ 250 billion, an increase of 24% compared to 2020. Weather disasters have always existed, but climate change due to human activity is increasing Its frequency and consequences, according to the predictions of scientists.
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