Another Year of Climate Disasters Costing World Over $100 Billion

Another Year of Climate Disasters Costing World Over $100 Billion

In 2021, the world suffered numerous climate disasters: hurricanes in the US, floods in Europe, and fires that blazed across Turkey and the US West Coast. In a report released by Christian Aid, ten of fifteen climate disasters last year caused over a billion dollars worth of damages, making 2021 the sixth of the last ten years where climate disasters have cost over $100 billion.

Why This Matters

The report not only suggests that we have to stop climate change before extreme weather events get even worse, but that poorer countries need financial help to survive the huge economic losses these disasters inflict.

At COP26 last year, countries negotiated about financing damages from climate-related weather events, but no resolution was reached.

"Although it was good to see the issue of loss and damage become a major issue at COP26, it was bitterly disappointing to leave without a fund set up to actually help people who are suffering permanent losses from climate change," Nushrat Chowdhury, Christian Aid's climate justice adviser in Bangladesh, told BBC News.

The Telegraph: 2021 - A year of extreme weather, November 4, 2021.

Recovering From Disaster

Hurricane Ida was the most expensive climate event of the year, costing approximately $65 billion and displacing tens of thousands. Because these estimates came from insured losses, the actual figure for damages is likely to be far higher.

November floods in British Columbia and South Sudan also displaced tens of thousands -- 18,000 in British Columbia and close to 800,000 in South Sudan.

"This report gives a sense of the climate suffering which has taken place around the world in 2021," Mohamed Adow, director of Nairobi-based think tank Power Shift Africa, said in a release. "It's a powerful reminder that the atmosphere will not wait for us to deal with the Covid pandemic. We need to act at scale and with urgency if we’re going to fend off these kinds of impacts into the future."

Guardian: Climate change is making floods worse - here's how, October 19, 2021.

Guardian: The climate science behind wildfires - why are they getting worse?, August 20, 2021.