En 2021, the ten most violent climatic events resulted in losses greater than 2020, a sign of the growing impact of global warming. The ten costliest weather disasters of the year topped $ 170 billion in damage altogether, a figure increasing over 2020.
According to Christian Aid’s annual report, published Monday, December 27, these 10 disasters have also claimed at least 1,075 lives and displaced more than 1.3 million people. Last year, the amount of economic damage from the 10 costliest weather events was calculated at nearly $ 150 billion by the NGO, which points out that most estimates are based solely on insured damage, which leaves assume even higher real costs.
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Storm Ida causes $ 65 billion in losses
This economic ranking overrepresents the disasters that have occurred in rich countries, with more developed and better insured infrastructure, but the NGO recalls that some of the most devastating extreme weather events of 2021 have hit poor countries, which have contributed little to the causes of change. climatic and where most damage is not insured. In South Sudan, floods, the economic cost of which could not be estimated, affected some 800,000 people.
The costliest disaster was Storm Ida (late August / early September), which notably resulted in flooding in New York City, with estimated economic costs of $ 65 billion. Then come the July floods in Germany, Belgium and neighboring countries, with $ 43 billion in losses, then the winter storm Uri in the United States, with a cold snap as far as Texas, which notably affected the power grid and caused 23 billion damage.
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Climate change increases the frequency of disasters
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 around the world, estimated at some $ 250 billion, up 24% compared to 2020. “The costs of climate change have been high this year, ”commented Kat Kramer, climate manager at Christian Aid and author of the report. Weather disasters have always existed, but climate change caused by human activity is increasing their frequency and impact, as scientists predict.