10 most costly climate change-related disasters in 2022 revealed – Sky News
Droughts, floods, storms and hurricanes were among the most costly climate change-related disasters during 2022, according to a new report.
The report by Christian Aid found that the 10 most expensive events in terms of insured losses ranged in cost from $3bn to $100bn, although the figures are only estimates, so the true expense could be much higher.
Here are the 10 most costly disasters of the year:
Hurricane Ian – $100bn
Ian was a Category 4 hurricane that caused widespread damage across western Cuba and the southeast of the US. Over seven days in late September, it killed at least 150 people and made 40,000 homeless.
European drought – $20bn
The drought in the summer of 2022 was widely acknowledged to be the continent’s worst in 500 years, affecting food and energy production, water availability and wildlife. It also fuelled wildfires, crop losses and caused more than 20,000 excess deaths.
Flooding in China – $12.3bn
In June, southern China saw its heaviest rainfall since 1961, bringing floods and landslides and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people.
Drought in China – $8.4bn
Late in August, China experienced its hottest and driest summer since records began in 1961, with more than 70 days of extreme temperatures and low rainfall badly affecting the basin of the Yangtze river, which supports more than 450 million people and a third of the country’s crops.
Flooding in eastern Australia – $7.5bn
From late February through March, eastern Australian states experienced flooding that killed 27 people and displaced 60,000. Several towns in northern New South Wales, for example, had a month’s worth of rain in just six hours – and this happened while they were still struggling to recover from record flooding the month before.
Pakistan floods – $5.6bn
From mid-June into September, flooding killed more than 1,700 people and displaced seven million in Pakistan. The flooding was worse because it came after a summer of record-breaking heat – meaning the ground was to dry to absorb the water.
Storm Eunice – $4.3bn
Over five days in February, Storm Eunice caused devastation across Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland and the UK. Seven people were killed.
In the UK gusts of 122mph were recorded – the strongest winds in more than 30 years.
Drought in Brazil – $4bn
Brazil has been in drought for most of the year – a drought that is thought to be the worst in decades. The low level of the Amazon River is a particular concern.
Hurricane Fiona – $3bn
Hurricane Fiona hit the Caribbean and Canada in the later part of September, killing more than 25 people and making 13,000 homeless.
At least four international airports were shut down, roads were closed and a number of communities were cut off.
KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape floods, South Africa – $3.0bn
Over 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 reignite the debate about who should pay for a ‘climate catastrophe’, with many of the disasters happening in parts of the world that are the least to blame for climate change.
There was some progress on this issue at global climate negotiations at COP27 in Egypt in November, where countries landed a historic pact to set up a fund for climate damages.
But the details of where the money comes from and who gets it are still to be agreed.
Christian Aid’s chief executive Patrick Watt said the figures in the report point to “the financial cost of inaction on the climate crisis”.
The human cost of the spiralling crisis “is seen in the homes washed away by floods, loved ones killed by storms and livelihoods destroyed by drought”, he added.
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