Droughts, floods, storms and hurricanes were among the costliest climate change-related disasters in 2022, according to a new report.
Christian Aid’s report found that the 10 costliest events in terms of insured losses ranged from $3 billion to $100 billion, although the figures are only estimates so the actual expenditure could be a lot higher.
Here are the 10 costliest disasters of the year:
Hurricane Ian – $100 billion
Ian was a Category 4 hurricane that caused extensive damage in western Cuba and the southeastern United States. For seven days in late September, it killed at least 150 people and left 40,000 homeless.
European drought – $20 billion
The 2022 summer drought was widely recognized as the continent’s worst in 500 years, affecting food and energy production, water availability and wildlife. It has also fueled forest fires, crop losses and caused more than 20,000 additional deaths.
Floods in China – $12.3 billion
In June, southern China experienced its heaviest rainfall since 1961causing flooding and landslides and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people.
Drought in China – $8.4 billion
In late August, China experienced its hottest and driest summer since records began in 1961, with more than 70 days of extreme temperatures and low rainfall seriously affecting the Yangtze River Basin, which supports more than 450 million people and a third of the country’s crops.
Floods in eastern Australia – $7.5 billion
From late February to March, Australia’s eastern states experienced flooding that killed 27 people and displaced 60,000. Several towns in northern New South Wales, for example, had a month of rain in just six hours – and it came as they were still struggling to recover from the record flooding of the previous month.
Floods in Pakistan – $5.6 billion
From mid-June to September, the floods killed more than 1,700 people and displaced seven million In Pakistan. The flooding was worse because it came after a summer of record heat – meaning the ground had to dry out to absorb the water.
Eunice Storm – $4.3 billion
For five days in February, Storm Eunice devastated Belgium, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK. Seven people were killed.
The UK gusts of 122 mph were recorded – the strongest winds for more than 30 years.
Drought in Brazil – 4 billion dollars
Brazil has been in drought for most of the year – a drought thought to be the worst in decades. The low level of the Amazon River is of particular concern.
Hurricane Fiona – $3 billion
Hurricane Fiona hit the Caribbean and Canada in late Septemberkilling more than 25 people and making 13,000 homeless.
At least four international airports have been closed, roads have been closed and a number of communities have been isolated.
KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape Floods, South Africa – $3.0 billion
More than a week in April, 459 people were killed and more than 40,000 had to leave their homes. Water services were shut down and Durban, one of South Africa’s busiest ports, was disrupted.
The report will turn on again the debate over who should pay for a ‘climate disaster’with many disasters occurring in regions of the world that are least responsible for climate change.
Progress was made on this issue during the global climate negotiations at COP27 in Egypt in November, where countries won a historic pact to create a fund for climate damage.
But the details of where the money comes from and who receives it have yet to be agreed.
Christian Aid chief executive Patrick Watt said the figures in the report indicate “the financial cost of inaction in the face of the climate crisis”.
The human cost of the spiraling crisis “is seen in homes washed away by floods, loved ones killed by storms and livelihoods destroyed by drought”, he added.
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