Climate: in 2021, ever more costly disasters

According to the British NGO Christian Aid, the cost of climatic phenomena amounts to at least 170 billion dollars. An increasing number.

The ten costliest weather disasters of 2021 topped $ 170 billion (150.2 billion euros) in total damage, a figure increasing in 2020 and which reflects the growing impact of global warming, according to the British NGO Christian Aid. These ten disasters also killed at least 1,075 and displaced more than 1.3 million people, according to its annual report released Monday, December 27.

Last year, the amount of economic damage from the 10 most costly weather events was calculated at nearly 150 billion dollars (about 132.5 billion euros) by the NGO, which points out that most evaluations « are based only on insured losses, which suggests even higher real costs».

This economic classification over-represents the disasters that have occurred in rich countries, with more developed and better insured infrastructures, but the NGO recalls that « some of the most devastating extreme weather events of 2021 have hit poor countries, which have done little to contribute to the causes of climate changeAnd where most of the damage is not insured. In South Sudan, floods, the economic cost of which could not be assessed, affected some 800,000 people, for example Christian Aid recalls.

The costliest disaster was Storm Ida (late August / early September), which notably led to flooding in New York City, with $ 65 billion (€ 57.43 billion) in estimated economic costs.

Then come the July floods in Germany, Belgium and neighboring countries, with 43 billion dollars (38 billion euros) in losses, then the winter storm Uri in the United States, with a cold snap until Texas, which notably affected the electricity grid and caused 23 billion (20.32 billion euros) in damage.

A fourth disaster exceeds $ 10 billion in damage, flooding China’s Henan Province in July at a cost of $ 17.6 billion.

Follow the floods in British Columbia in Canada (November, 7.5 billion), the late April cold snap in France (5.6 billion), which devastated prestigious vineyards, Cyclone Yaas in India and Bangladesh (May, 3 billion), Typhoon In-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) .

In mid-December, the reinsurer Swiss Re published an overall estimate of the cost of natural disasters in 2021 worldwide, estimated at some 250 billion dollars (220.8 billion euros), up 24% compared to 2020 .

«The costs of climate change have been high this yearKat Kramer, climate manager at Christian Aid and author of the report, commented in a statement. Weather disasters have always existed, but climate change caused by human activity is increasing their frequency and impact, as scientists predict.


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